CMS encourages EHR adoption in CY 2016 Home Health PPS proposed rule

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At the end of June, CMS released a proposed rule outlining the CY 2016 Home Health Prospective Payment System update. Included in the proposed rule is another push for EHR adoption.

Home health providers can't receive federal incentives for meaningful use of EHRs and health IT systems, but CMS says that the adoption and implementation of health IT tools even in this setting will help foster and support healthcare quality improvement.

"While home health providers are not eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, effective adoption and use of health information exchange and health IT tools will be essential as these settings seek to improve quality and lower costs through initiatives such as value-based purchasing," reads the proposed rule.

The rule points to the ONC's Interoperability Roadmap and the 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory as tools for home health providers to implement IT systems and exchange data.

"We encourage stakeholders to utilize health information exchange and certified health IT to effectively and efficiently help providers improve internal care delivery practices, engage patients in their care, support management of care across the continuum, enable the reporting of electronically specified clinical quality measures, and improve efficiencies and reduce unnecessary costs," reads the proposed rule. "As adoption of certified health IT increases and interoperability standards continue to mature, HHS will seek to reinforce standards through relevant policies and programs."

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