The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS has awarded two contracts totaling more than $3.9 million to monitor the nationwide use of health information exchanges and adoption of electronic health-record systems.
Surescripts, an Arlington, Va.-based vendor of electronic prescribing services and, more recently, an information exchange portal and an ONC-authorized health IT testing and certification body, was awarded a contract valued at more than $1.4 million. Surescripts is to collect, report and analyze "ongoing evidence of nationwide electronic exchange of clinical information, such as electronic prescribing," and submit reports at least quarterly, according to a contract description posted on a federal website. Surescripts also should include breakdowns by state, metropolitan area, county and ZIP code, and identify "any areas where accurate estimates of exchange could not be made," according to the description.
SK&A Information Services, Irvine, Calif., received an ONC contract for $2.5 million to conduct ongoing surveys to assess providers' adoption and use of EHR systems. SK&A's quarterly reports should group healthcare providers using EHR systems by medical specialty and characterize their level of EHR system adoption and use of key functions, according to the terms of the contract, as well as provide detailed analysis of providers' EHR use by state, metropolitan area, county and ZIP code.
For both contracts, the ONC expects to receive data beginning in September and continuing through 2014.