Mark Lutes, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the Washington, D.C., office, was quoted in an article about “Meaningful Use” Implementations.
According to the article, physicians and hospitals eligible for Medicare incentives for adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records could seek statutory extensions on the program’s timeframes in 2011, health information technology industry experts told BNA.
Qualifying for meaningful use incentives in 2011 will be ”materially easier” than in 2012, said Lutes.
As the health care industry, and health IT vendors in particular, await new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules to be released in 2011, privacy and security concerns for the health IT industry and providers continue to grow, particularly with regard to preventing, detecting, and reporting health data breaches.
Federal preemption regarding consent policies is ”the cleanest way to clean up the compliance tangle arising out of numerous state laws dealing with special consent with respect to subsets of data,” Lutes noted.
Of particular concern in the area of federal oversight, some experts said, is whether and how the Food and Drug Administration will exercise its oversight authority in the health IT space.
Lutes said the health IT industry would be wise to monitor whether FDA chooses to regulate health IT products as medical devices.
Lutes also said he expects the Federal Trade Commission to continue exercising its regulatory authority over certain health IT products and services, including personal health records, not regulated by HHS.
Lutes said other technologies and initiatives, including personal health record models and the NHIN Direct project, are more promising for supporting health data communication for care management than health information exchange models.
Also on the horizon is a growth in remote monitoring technologies to aid in caring for patients with chronic conditions, Lutes predicted.
”I expect that a large number of [accountable care organizations] applying for Shared Savings Program participation will find that incorporating these technologies into their care paths and processes helps them qualify for participation and yields quality and cost benefits,” Lutes said.
Lutes also predicted that federal initiatives around ACOs and medical homes ultimately would be more effective incentives for providers to adopt health information technologies than the meaningful use program.