HHS plans to create a national database that will contain information about office-based healthcare providers participating in federally funded electronic health-record system incentive payment programs.
HHS plans database on EHR incentive program participants
Goals of the proposed new system are to create a tool to evaluate those incentive programs and to check up on the work of a national system of regional health information technology extension centers.
Both the incentive programs and the regional extension centers were created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
According to a notice published in today's Federal Register, the database will be linked to a data "dashboard" that will provide access to the record-keeping system for both researchers and the public. In accordance with federal privacy provisions, provider data that is publicly accessible through the dashboard will be aggregated and not individually identifiable.
The database effort will target office-based providers who are participating in the EHR incentive payment programs, regardless of whether they are receiving implementation assistance through a regional extension center.
The database and dashboard will enable HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to evaluate the state of health IT implementation by providers receiving assistance from the RECs, according to the notice. It also will let the ONC compare the evaluations with reports submitted by the RECs for the purpose of validating claims submitted for grant payments.
Information entered into the database will come from data obtained in administering the federal IT programs and data obtained from "vendors that monitor health IT adoption trends and activity."
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