NAHC/HCTAA Comment On Voluntary EHR Certification Program During HITPC Adoption and Certification Workgroup Virtual Hearing
December 24, 2013 12:02 PM
After the announcement that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was considering the development of a voluntary EHR certification Program for Long-Term Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) providers - which includes home care and hospice - the National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s affiliated Home Care Technology Association (HCTAA) has been an active stakeholder in providing public comments, written comments, and provider and vendor witnesses for testimony at public hearings.
For more on this issue, please see NAHC Report, November 26, 2013.
To further consider this issue, the Health IT Policy Committee’s (HITPC) Adoption and Certification Workgroup - which is tasked with developing a process that could be used to identify and prioritize certification criteria for health IT that is used by “ineligible” providers, and for which a voluntary ONC certification program would be helpful - recently held a virtual hearing to provide stakeholders the opportunity to express their recommendations to the committee.
A link to the hearing can be found here.
Lisa Harvey McPherson, Eastern Maine Homecare, testified on the provider panel and Karen Utterback, McKesson, testified on the vendor panel.
As part of the provider panel, Lisa provided an update on Eastern Maine Homecare and their work in the ONC Beacon Community program, the Pioneer ACO program and their role in the development of HealthInfoNet, the state of Maine’s (HIE) health information exchange. She stated, “What we know today because of the advancement of the Beacon Community and the building out of HealthInfoNet is that health information exchange is integral to how we deliver care for home care and hospice.”
Karen Utterback spoke on behalf of McKesson and recommend that the transmission of a Consolidated-CDA [summary care record] using standard messaging protocols such as Direct Messaging Protocols or publishing and consuming information through standards-based health information exchange could support LTPAC transitions of care and care coordination but stopped short of recommending a federally developed EHR certification program.
HCTAA provided written comments and recommendations for the hearing. HCTAA’s Executive Director, Richard Brennan, also provided a three-minute public statement before the full HITPC. Brennan stated that:
“I want you [the committee] to know that although we are all lumped together, that LTPAC is not the same, and that home health is a standout. What I am most concerned with is that there are new models of care from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are requiring certified EHRs for providers to participate in those programs as well as states, such as Minnesota, that is requiring an ONC certified EHR or an equivalent functional EHR that has both functionality such as a (CPOE) computerized physician order entry and transmission standards such as the ability to send and receive a summary of care record built into those requirements that takes affect in January 2015. So we are running out of time for the federal government to initiate a program but appreciate the time that you are taking to look at this topic and feel that it is a very important topic. We are willing to help in anyway possible to advance this cause.”
HCTAA will continue to engage with the committee and is committed to working with other stakeholders and federal partners to determine the most appropriate action that would benefit home care and hospice providers and that patients they serve.
To view HCTAA’s written comments, please click here.