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Health Information Technology (IT)

Health IT Benchmarking Survey Report

ASCRS ASOA members have exclusive access to a new report that compares how ophthalmic practices are meeting health information technology (HIT) needs and how much they are spending on that technology. Prepared by the ASCRS ASOA HIT Committee, this report analyzes survey data collected from members and provides ophthalmic practices with a tool to compare their own spending to other similar practices.

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CMS and ONC Release Two Health IT Interoperability Proposed Rules

CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released two proposed rules that seek to increase patient access to electronic health information (EHI) and reduce data blocking by EHR vendors and healthcare providers. The two rules are separate since the CMS rule focuses on providers and payers under its programs, and the ONC rule focuses on the certification and use of health IT products. Some provisions of these proposed rules would implement provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act. ASCRS provided comments.

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EHR Reporting Program 

ASCRS ASOA submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in response to a request for information (RFI) regarding a new EHR Reporting Program. The 21st Century Cures Act requires ONC to develop an EHR Reporting Program that will evaluate and rate EHR systems to provide information to physicians and practices as they make decisions about which system to use. ONC sought input from stakeholders with the RFI as it begins developing the program. In response to the RFI, the ASCRS•ASOA Health IT Committee developed several recommendations to ONC that would assist ophthalmic practices as they evaluate EHR systems. Among the recommendations are that ONC should evaluate how well various EHR systems exchange health information, especially data that is not required as part of the system’s certification such as ophthalmic data. In addition, we reminded ONC that many ophthalmic patients are elderly and may have impaired vision, so the program should evaluate how user-friendly the patient communication tools are. Finally, we recommended ONC evaluate an EHR system’s ability to interface with qualified clinical data registries, such as the IRIS Registry, that are widely used by ophthalmic practices

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