» The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced it will delay any rulemaking on Stage 3 meaningful use of electronic health records until next year. The agency will use the additional time to examine how the existing requirements are rolling out. Conversely, CMS confirmed the ICD-10 coding implementation deadline of Oct. 1, 2014, will remain as originally scheduled.
» CMS has created the Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard, a web-based tool to help researchers access federal data on Medicare patients, targeting those with multiple chronic conditions. The dashboard focuses on patients with diagnoses such as heart disease and diabetes. It offers “new and critical data that can help us develop better patient-centered approaches to improve health outcomes, lower costs and maximize quality of life,” says Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Howard Koh, M.D., MPH.
» Electronic health records are not sophisticated enough to handle the amount of information created by currently available medical technology, according to a Viewpoint article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors warn that the problem will only get worse as “big data,” including the large amount of information involved in next-generation genomic sequencing, becomes more affordable and more easily available. “EHRs are designed to facilitate day-to-day patient care,” says co-author Justin Starren, Ph.D., of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. “They are not designed to store large blocks of data that do not require rapid access, nor are they currently capable of integrating genomics into clinical decision support.”