Contact DSS: David Dearborn, 860-424-5024
eHealthConnecticut DESIGNATED TO ADVISE CT HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS ON MAKING ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS A REALITY
(Hartford, CT) – U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced final rules that set criteria for the "meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHR) by providers and hospitals. These criteria mark the first step toward a secure, private, robust statewide and nationwide health information exchange designed to improve the quality and safety of health care and reduce health care costs.
Health care providers meeting the federal meaningful use requirements can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health section of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Health care providers seeking information and guidance regarding the meaningful use of EHRs in the state may turn to eHealthConnecticut, one of 60 Regional Extension Centers around the country designated to offer health care providers a local resource for technical assistance, on best practices to support and accelerate health care provider efforts to become meaningful users of EHR. eHealthConnecticut is working collaboratively with the Connecticut Departments of Public Health and Social Services to build a comprehensive, secure and robust health information technology exchange that serves the health care needs of all Connecticut residents.
“Our Regional Extension Center, eHealthConnecticut, will make available the needed hands-on, field support for eligible health care providers to advance the rapid adoption and use of health IT,” said Angelo Carrabba, MD, Board Chair of eHealthConnecticut. “In understanding the unique challenges facing today’s health care provider, we fill the role of trusted advisor for providers in Connecticut, offering a functional combination of national insight and local expertise.”
HHS also provided two additional and related final rules with regard to EHR adoption. One regulation, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), defines the minimum requirements that providers must meet through their use of certified EHR technology in order to qualify for reimbursements. The other, issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), identifies the standards and certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they adopt are capable of performing the required functions.
About eHealthConnecticut, the Regional Extension Center (REC) for Connecticut.
eHealthConnecticut is a not-for-profit organization established in 2006. It is governed by a board of 25 volunteers representing key health care stakeholders from across Connecticut, including providers, consumers, business, academia, payers and quality organizations. Over 100 other individuals have donated their time since the organization’s inception to develop the programs and services it offers, including the development of privacy and security policies critical to protecting personal information. In 2008, the organization was designated by the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality as a Chartered Value Exchange, one of only 24 such organizations in the country. In April 2010, eHealthConnecticut was awarded a grant by ONC to serve as Connecticut’s Regional Extension Center to support health care providers in accelerating the adoption of health information technology (grant number 90RC0053).
For additional information about the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers, see http://HealthIT.hhs.gov/programs/REC/.
For additional information about Health Information Technology and Exchange planning efforts in Connecticut, please visit www.ct.gov/dph and click on the link for Health Information Technology & Exchange.
A CMS/ONC fact sheet on the rules is available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/
Technical fact sheets on CMS’s final rule are available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/
A technical fact sheet on ONC’s standards and certification criteria final rule is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/standardsandcertification.
The final rules are available at: