CMSA Today - Issue 3, 2015 - (Page 12)

Health IT Improved Collection and Access Understanding the Impact of HITECH and Meaningful Use on Case Management BY JEFF FRATER, RN, BSN A few primary objectives for case managers are to help patients and their families manage medical conditions to improve their health status, enhance care coordination, eliminate duplicate services, and reduce medical costs. The health care system's reliance on paper records has historically made the practice of case management difficult. Although paper charts have been the primary tool for assessing quality, they do not allow for easy data sharing across providers. Health information technology (HIT) in care management, as well as the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), enables case managers to more appropriately target services for each patient with the purpose of identifying gaps in the care continuum, especially for disease-specific populations. As a result of these benefits, the federal government continues to support health IT initiatives. For example, the American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 20091 (ARRA) provides substantial federal funding for improvements in infrastructure, including the Medicaid and Medicare EHR provider incentive programs. The intent of this legislation is to motivate the investment in and adoption of health IT systems. By promoting the exchange and availability of information throughout the continuum of care, the legislation's ultimate goal is to transform the delivery and quality of health care services. A major initiative enacted under ARRA is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health2 (HITECH) Act, which promotes the adoption and meaningful use of health IT and strengthens protections previously established with the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).3 This measure should improve the infrastructure of the health care system and support the 12 CMSA TODAY transition from a fee-for-service to valuebased model for targeted transactions while enhancing the privacy and security of those systems. Health IT engages and empowers patients to take a more active role in their care. In fact, patients are now able to directly access health information through portals and secure messaging with the care team. HITECH HITECH gave the Department of Health and Human Services authority to establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health IT. According to a white paper from Oracle Corporation, "The core purpose of HITECH is to convert the nation's health care records to digital formats, improving health care through the rapid transmission of medical information and ultimately saving money on operations by making the nation's health care system more efficient."4 MEANINGFUL USE Meaningful Use ensures that the EHR is utilized in a significant way to help decrease health care costs, improve patient care, and pursue other key public policy objectives. Meaningful Use rests on five pillars of health outcomes policy priorities: Issue 3 * 2015 * DIGITAL 1. Improve quality, safety and efficiency, and reduce health disparities. 2.  ngage patients and their families in E their health. 3. Improve care coordination. 4. Improve population and public health. 5.  nsure adequate privacy and security E protection for personal health information.5 According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives for the "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology to improve patient care. To receive an EHR incentive payment, providers have to show that they are "meaningfully using" their EHRs by meeting thresholds for a number of objectives that CMS has established for "meaningful use" which eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs), and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to receive an incentive payment. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are staged in three steps with increasing requirements for participation. All providers begin participating by meeting Stage 1 requirements for a 90-day period in their first year of Meaningful Use and a full year in their second year of Meaningful Use. After meeting the Stage 1 requirements, providers will then have to meet Stage 2 requirements for two full years. Eligible professionals participate in the program on the calendar years, while eligible hospitals and CAHs

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 3, 2015

PRESIDENT’S LETTER: Technology Is Here to Stay
Improved Collection and Access
Clinical Trials
Applications as Credible Tools

CMSA Today - Issue 3, 2015