» EHR problems are “worse than we know,” a new report from the ECRI Institute contends. Transitioning from paper to electronic health records is creating problems, and “we’re only now beginning to understand the extent,” says ECRI’s Karen Zimmer. “Mistakes are bound to go unnoticed for months or even years.” The ECRI report documented 171 health IT problems that caused or could have caused patient harm. 

» A user fee for health IT vendors is in the proposed 2014 budget for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. If enacted, it will introduce $1 million from a new tax on health IT vendors. Due to the agency’s increased workload, ONC requested the new user fee to provide it with the necessary resources to meet health IT vendors’ increasing demands. New revenue is necessary to allow ONC to administer the certification program, the document says.

» Nearly $12.7 billion in Meaningful Use incentive payments had been distributed to 234,065 eligible hospitals and healthcare professionals as of the end of February, according to a CMS report. That’s up from a previous estimate of $12.3 billion to 219,000 eligible providers, according to iHealthBeat. Overall, 3,781 hospitals out of 5,011 eligible facilities received incentive payments. 

» Mobile technology device usage continues to grow unabated and it provides “tremendous opportunities” for accountable care organizations, according to a new report from the mHealth Alliance. The potential for mobile devices to utilize analytics reporting, prescription medication information and a wide array of other applications is abundant for emerging ACOs, the report states. 

» Advancing interoperability should include extending certification to health information exchanges, the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) told the Department of Health and Human Services recently. The certification process, developed under the EHR Incentive Payments program, “has had a major impact on the adoption and Meaningful Use of health information technology,” the organization wrote.