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State HIEs Weigh In on Meaningful Use Rules

04.14.2010

A coalition of 13 state health information exchange initiatives is calling on federal officials to deem eligible providers as meeting HIE meaningful use criteria if they have a participation agreement in place with a qualified HIE network.

The move would enable providers to take advantage of HIE services already being developed while reducing the need for costly point-to-point interfaces to conduct transactions such as electronic prescribing and incorporation of lab results into electronic health records, according to the Statewide HIE Coalition.

“Authorizing eligible hospitals and eligible professionals to satisfy the Stage 1 meaningful use criteria that rely on HIE by participating in a Qualified HIE Network will foster continued development of such HIE networks and will encourage provider participation in those networks without undermining a diversity of approaches as to how the networks will evolve,” the coalition asserts in a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The coalition also recommends applying state-specific meaningful use objectives to all eligible hospitals receiving EHR incentive payments under Medicaid.

A CMS proposal to deem any Medicare hospital that is a meaningful EHR user to also be eligible for the Medicaid incentive payment “will limit the universe of healthcare providers to which state-specific meaningful use criteria will apply,” according to the coalition. “Hospitals deemed meaningful users under Medicare will not have to meet any state-specific additional meaningful use requirements under Medicaid, leaving only children’s hospitals and eligible professionals subject to the additional requirements, thereby curtailing a state’s ability to effect any meaningful change through this policy lever.”

Some states, for instance, are considering participation in a state HIE as a criteria for receiving Medicaid incentive payments.

Members of the State HIE Coalition include organizations or agencies in California, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.

Source: Joseph Goedert for Health Data Management

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