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Technology Matters
July 14, 2010

NPRM on HITECH for HIPAA Issued
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on July 8 to change HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement rules needed to implement the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The NPRM addresses extension of privacy and security rules to business associates of covered entities, limitations on the use and disclosure of protected health information for marketing and fundraising purposes, prohibition of the sale of protected health information, and expanded individual’s rights to access information and restrict disclosure of protected health information to health plans. The NPRM also expands HIPAA enforcement provisions. View the NPRM on the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Health Information Privacy web page. The NPRM will be published soon in the Federal Register. Comments can be submitted for 60 days following publication at www.regulations.gov. A link is available on the OCR web site.

EHR Final Rules Issued
On July 13 DHHS issued rules to define meaningful use objectives that providers must meet to qualify for bonus payments and to identify the technical requirements for certified electronic health records (EHR). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule, Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program establishes a core group of requirements that eligible providers must meet and a menu of options from which providers may choose. The rule also includes the formula for calculation of incentive payments and a schedule for payment adjustments under Medicare for covered professional services and inpatient hospital services provided by eligible providers that fail to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology by 2015. The Office of the Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) rule identifies the standards and certification criteria for EHR technology, so that eligible professionals and hospitals can determine that systems can function effectively. The final rule is available on the Health Information Technology Standards and Certification web page

A related final rule was issued by ONC on June 24 establishing a temporary certification program for health information technology. Access information about the Temporary Certification Program, including the final rule on the ONC Health Information Technology web site.  

PQRI and e-Prescribing Incentive Program Call
A CMS conference call on the 2010 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) and Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program will be held July 20 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Registration, which is required for the call, closes at 3:00 p.m. July 19 or when the phone lines are filled.  Register through the CMS web site.

Medicare HIPAA 5010 Implementation Call
CMS will hold a teleconference on July 28 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. on Medicare Fee-for-Service implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.O. transaction standards. This session will address the 276/277 Status Inquiry and Response paired transaction. There will be a presentation followed by questions and answers. Registrations for the call will be accepted through 2:00 p.m. July 27 or until the conference lines are full. Complete registration through the web site. Information about previous calls is available on the 5010 National Calls web page.

Contact Betty Simmonds (717-364-3280 or betty@paproviders.org) with questions.

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