» HIMSS Analytics alleged that too many providers rely on outdated and inefficient practices to back up and archive resident-related information. The organization surveyed 150 senior IT professionals nationwide. They found that processes tend to be inconsistent when it comes to safeguarding data and meeting long-term compliance requirements.
» The proposed White House budget for the 2015 fiscal year seeks $1.8 billion to bolster health information technology incentive payments — the same as last year. The proposal also calls on the Department of Health and Human Services to use funds to upgrade technology tools related to Medicare and Medicaid in ways “that encourage high-quality and efficient delivery of health care, improve program integrity, and preserve the fundamental compact with seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income Americans.”
» A RAND Corporation study finds that the overall benefits of health IT outweigh negative or neutral effects of their use, but challenges remain. Almost 20% of the studies yielded negative results, and only 45% saw overwhelmingly positive outcomes.
» The Government Accountability Office released a report that chastises the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program. The initiative is not guided by a clear strategy that outlines goals — or how to achieve them, the GAO claimed. One improvement would be to mandate the use of clinical quality measures. Outcome-specific performance measures also should be put in place, authors noted.
» Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the nation is living in a 21st century world with a 20th century delivery system. She made the comments in Washington during a speech at the Care Innovation Summit 2014. She added that for change to occur, innovation must be harnessed to transform the healthcare system. “First, we need to unlock and liberate the information that drives innovation,” Sebelius said. “Second, we need to align the way we pay for care, with the results we want for our families and for our nation's finances.”