Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CMS and ONC to Discuss Next Steps in EHR Programs Today

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will announce two regulations that lay a foundation for improving quality, efficiency, and safety through meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) technology.

The regulations will help implement the EHR incentive programs enacted under the Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Public comments on both regulations are encouraged.

Join today’s call; details are listed below:

--David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, national coordinator for health information technology
--Jonathan Blum, director, Center for Medicare Management
--Cindy Mann, director, Center for Medicaid and State Operations

Briefing for HITECH Partners and Stakeholders – Providers, HIT Industry Organizations

Today, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, 5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Toll-Free Dial: (800) 837-1935
Conference ID: 49047605
Pass Code: HITECH

Saturday, December 26, 2009

HHS announces $60M Program to Fund Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects

David Blumenthal, M.D., Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, today announced plans to make available $60 million to support the development of Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP). SHARP projects will conduct focused research in critical areas where breakthrough advances are needed to address existing barriers to the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (health IT). The SHARP program identifies and works to address barriers to adoption in the following four areas:

Security of Health Information Technology research to address the challenges of developing security and risk mitigation policies and the technologies necessary to build and preserve the public trust as health IT systems become ubiquitous.
Patient-Centered Cognitive Support research to address the need to harness the power of health IT in a patient-focused manner and align the technology with the day-to-day practice of medicine to support clinicians as they care for patients.
Health care Application and Network Platform Architectures research to focus on the development of new and improved architectures that are necessary to achieve electronic exchange and use of health information in a secure, private, and accurate manner.
Secondary Use of Electronic Health Record Data research to identify strategies to enhance the use of health IT in improving the overall quality of health care, population health and clinical research while protecting patient privacy.
Each project will identify and implement a research agenda addressing the specific goals of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and identify the barriers to adoption and meaningful use of heath IT that will be addressed in their research area. HHS expects to award qualified applicants cooperative agreements to support research efforts in these four project areas. Each agreement will last four years. Awardees will implement a collaborative, interdisciplinary program of research addressing short-term and long-term challenges in their focus area. Additionally, the projects are expected to develop and implement a cooperative program between researchers, health care providers, and other health IT sector stakeholders to incorporate research results into health IT practice and products.

Authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and part of the HITECH provisions of ARRA, the cooperative agreements are part of a series of grants to help strengthen and support the use of health information technology to improve the quality and efficiency of care provided to all Americans.

“Innovative research and approaches are required to overcome some of the foremost challenges we face in achieving our vision of a transformed health care system enabled through health IT,” said Dr. Blumenthal “The SHARP program will bring together some of the best and brightest minds in the nation to find breakthrough solutions and innovations that will eliminate barriers to adoption and, over time, increase the meaningful use of health IT to improve the health and care of all Americans.”

Applications are due on Jan. 25, 2010, with awards anticipated in March 2010.

Information about the SHARP program and the cooperative agreement applications can be found at and at

Friday, December 18, 2009

Basics and 2010 Updates for the Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program Teleconference

National Government Services, Inc. Provider Outreach & Education team has scheduled a teleconference for January 6, 2010.

Basics and 2010 Updates for the Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program Teleconference

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Join us for this teleconference to learn how simple it is to report under the Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program and possibly earn a two percent incentive payment for all your physician allowed charges furnished in 2010.

Registration for this session is required and open. Visit our Web site for details at Choose Part B (business type) and your state. Choose Part B in the Calendar of Events.

Thank you,
National Government Services, Inc.
Corporate Communications

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the results for the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). More than 85,000 physicians and other eligible professionals who satisfactorily reported quality-related data to Medicare under the 2008 PQRI received incentive payments totaling more than $92 million, compared to $36 million in 2007.

The number of eligible professionals who earned an incentive payment increased by one-third from 2007, when 56,700 eligible professionals earned an incentive payment. In 2007, eligible professionals could only participate in the program during a 6-month reporting period. In 2008, the program expanded to allow reporting for either a 6-month or a 12-month period.