Defining “Meaningful Use” in ARRA

For the past two days the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics has been hearing testimony from the industry on what constitutes the “meaningful use” of health IT. Defining the term is no small matter, as it triggers $17 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentives for the adoption of electronic health record systems. The incentives are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA. Under the provision, an...

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GINA Guidance for Researchers

The Department of Health and Human Services has published guidance related to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and its effect on researchers. “Guidance on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act: Implications for Investigators and Institutional Review Boards” provides background on protections provided by GINA and discusses GINA’s impact on investigators who conduct genetic research and the...

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Blended Data for Quality Measures

The National Quality Forum is in the process of establishing consensus standards for the use of clinically enriched administrative data for reporting performance measures in ambulatory care. In January an NQF work group began identifying and endorsing a set of measures suitable for both public accountability and quality improvement. Given the difficulty of reporting performance measures from paper records, healthcare has been making...

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Best Practices for Student PPEs

Professional practice experience is an important part of an HIM student’s education. Hands-on experience with HIM work is important to helping graduates enter the work force prepared. Each CAHIIM-accredited HIM program must have at least one PPE, which helps students assimilate the HIM theory taught in class with real-world HIM applications. Both students and sponsoring facilities new to PPEs might not know what to expect. To help...

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A Standard for Quality Reporting

Several stories in the current print issue describe efforts to streamline data collection and reporting for quality measures. Two touch on the Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA), a Health Level Seven draft standard based on HL7’s approved clinical document architecture (CDA). The QRDA initiative is developing CDA standards for reporting quality measure data across health IT systems that are EHR-compatible. Currently, the...

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