CMS issues e-measure specs for 2014 EHR meaningful use   10/26/2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released electronic specifications for the clinical quality measures that hospitals and eligible professionals must report for meaningful use of electronic health records beginning in 2014. In addition, CMS posted an e-spec navigator tool for hospitals; an updated e-measures guide; and a link to the 2014 quality measure value sets, which are accessible after obtaining a free license. Hospitals are encouraged to ensure that their EHR vendors support the clinical quality measures they want to report.
HRSA grant to help states streamline medical licensing   10/26/2012
The Federation of State Medical Boards recently received a three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to continue efforts to streamline the state medical licensure process and reduce statutory and regulatory barriers to telemedicine. Administrators in Medicine and the American Academy of Physician Assistants will participate in the project plan, which includes streamlining the state licensure process for physician assistants. "State medical boards recognize that telemedicine and…practicing medicine across state lines are growing factors in the overall practice of medicine," said FSMB Chair Lance Talmage, M.D. "FSMB has been proactively developing tools such as a uniform licensing application and streamlined credentials verification to allow state boards to bring more standardization to licensing processes, while maintaining jurisdiction over physicians practicing in their states."
Kentucky Supreme Court urged to reverse Patient Safety Act rulings   10/26/2012
The AHA and Kentucky Hospital Association today urged the Kentucky Supreme Court to reverse two lower court rulings restricting the scope of protection for patient safety information under the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005. While the lower court decisions recognized that the act preempted state law, they "failed to apply the Act in the manner as expressed and intended by Congress," the associations said in briefs. Instead of applying the definition of protected information as written, which is intentionally broad to cover information assembled and developed for reporting to a patient safety organization, the decisions redefined and narrowed the protection to only "self-examining analysis." That interpretation will "thwart the Congressional purpose behind the Act" and undermine the work of hospitals and others to achieve the goals of Congress, the associations stated. (The two cases on appeal are Norton Hospitals Inc. v. Cunningham, and Phillip Tibbs, M.D., et al v. Bunnell; both were decided the same day by the same appellate court.)