National Initiatives

There is currently a great deal of activity on the national level to promote EHR adoption, interoperability and standardization. Some of these initiatives are listed below.

Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (Meaningful Use) and Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program
ARRA provided for approximately $19 billion in new spending in Health Information Technology.  A significant portion of this will go towards incentives for Medicare physicians using an EHR in a meaningful way ("Meaningful Use"), which started in 2011. Note that in 2015, Medicare reimbursement rates will be reduced for physicians who are not using electronic health records.  Click the link above to access the official Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services EHR incentive page. 

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS                                                                                             

This CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) quality improvement program offers incentives to Medicare providers who report on quality performance measures. Participation in the program involves the reporting of designated administrative codes on billing claims.

Health IT Website

This link provides an overview of Health Information Technology efforts throughout the federal government.

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)                                          

This office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “is the principal Federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts related to the implementation and use of electronic health information exchange.” It is funding and directing several initiatives, and is initiating new activity with approximately $2 billion in new funding as a result of ARRA. This organization certifies EHR products. Use this link to see if an EHR product is 2014 ONC certified.

Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN)

“The Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) is a set of standards, services and policies that enable the secure exchange of health information over the internet."  The goal is to provide a secure, nationwide, interoperable health information infrastructure that will connect providers, consumers, and others involved in supporting health and healthcare. This critical part of the national health IT agenda will enable health information to follow the consumer, be available for clinical decision making, and support appropriate use of healthcare information beyond direct patient care so as to improve health.”