Revised federal health IT strategic plan released, linked to long-term care

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Revised federal health IT strategic plan released, linked to long-term care
Revised federal health IT strategic plan released, linked to long-term care

Although physicians and hospitals are the main focus of an updated federal health information technology plan announced Monday, long-term care and other providers were also identified as targets of a push into new territory.

The first two goals of the plan prioritize increasing the electronic collection and sharing of health information while protecting individual privacy, according to National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSC. The first goal “aims to expand health IT adoption and use efforts across the care continuum, emphasizing assistance for healthcare providers serving long-term and post-acute care, behavioral health, community-based, and other populations ineligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentives Programs,” report authors wrote.

 The final three goals focus on federal efforts "to create an environment where interoperable information is used by healthcare providers, public health entities, researchers, and individuals to improve health, healthcare and reduce costs,” DeSalvo added. In January, the administration will release the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, which will outline how the private sector and federal government pursue sharing information.

First released in 2011, the “Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020” has led to more than 400,000 eligible hospitals and professionals participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.

Long-term care providers are not eligible for incentive payments but find themselves entangled in the plan anyway due to relationships with various other providers. DeSalvo acknowledged the revised plan has wide implications, noting “a strong interest among providers not participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to collect, share, and use interoperable health information.”

To see the 28-page report, click here.