News Feature | July 25, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — July 25, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare IT News For VARs

In this week’s news, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) reports a boost in e-prescribing, and a study shows more physicians are opting out of Meaningful Use.

Health IT Safety Center Defended By ONC

A proposed Health IT Safety Center is taking shape and is already facing criticism. The public-private partnership, born out of the Food And Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, would be charged with promoting patient safety, as well as establishing a sustainable health IT learning system. Legislators have expressed concern that the center could overstep its charge of being a coordinating body, and make progress into regulatory action. Karen DeSalvo, the national coordinator for Health IT, has stated that the Safety Center would only report, aggregate and analyze health IT safety issues for industry and government entities. Read more at

E-Prescribing Boosted By Federal Incentive Program

According to a report from the ONC, the volume of e-prescriptions has increased between 2008 and 2014. During that period, two policies were implemented that contributed to the increase: The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers (the “eRx Incentive”) in 2008 and the Medicare And Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) in 2011. This represents an overall increase from 7 percent in 2008 to 70 percent of physicians using the technology in 2014. Read more on the impact of the two policies at

Physicians Opting Out Of Meaningful Use According To Study

According to the 2014 Medscape EHR Report, 22 percent of physicians are opting out of Meaningful Use. That’s compared to 30 percent who are attesting for Stage 1, and 48 percent who are attesting for Stage 2. The report also highlights that 57 percent of physicians don’t know the cost of EHR Systems Implementation. The survey involved 18,575 physicians across 25 specialties who were questioned during the period from April 9, 2014 through June 3, 2014.

Providers Reluctant To Tackle Safety Risks Caused By IT

A report by independent health researcher, the RAND Corporation and funded by the ONC has revealed that healthcare providers, ambulatory practices in particular, are highly disconnected from the risks that health IT poses to their patients. The report, available here, tells that much of that disconnect is due to the general perception that IT in health is purely a beneficial service.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

InformationWeek discusses EHR audits in this commentary article. CMS is performing pre and post-payment audits on 5 to 10 percent of healthcare providers — some of them chosen randomly, and others based on risk profiles of suspicious or anomalous data. While the audit chances are relatively low, the article provides useful information on preparing for, and passing, a CMS audit.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.