HIT Think: Why providers should push forward with IT efforts

03 February 2017

By Sam Grefrath

Last quarter’s news cycle was largely dominated by the election and events surrounding it. As such, reporting was comparatively light when it came to four significant regulatory and legislative actions with health IT implications. These include:

  • The 21st Century Cures Act, legislation to promote interoperability and address data blocking, as well as fund cancer research and opioid abuse treatment (December 2016).
  • The MACRA Quality Payment Program (QPP), implementing the Merit Incentive-based Payment System (MIPS) (November 2016).
  • The 2017 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) that contained significant revisions for the EHR Incentive Program for 2017 and 2018 (November 2016).
  • Episode Payment Models (EPMs), which expand on the concept of geographically based mandatory episode based payment participation for hospitals.

I’ve been working with federal health IT regulations since Meaningful Use began in 2011, and I’ve never experienced such a high volume of activity in such a short period, nor the resulting apprehension and uncertainty about the future.

Under the Obama administration, we experienced significant payment reform, two examples being Episode Payment Model and Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model. The future existence of these models—as well as the CMS Innovation Center that introduced them—is now in question.

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