Happy National Health IT Week!
Is Congress getting into the spirit of National Health IT Week, too? One of this year’s “Asks” was related to minimizing the disruption created by federally-mandated health IT programs and a new bill introduced in the House would certainly help. The bill would allow hospitals and EPs to attest to a 3-month quarter of meaningful use in 2015 instead of a full year. No mention is made of changing certification requirements though, so presumably providers would still have to use 2014 Edition CEHRT for their 3-month EHR reporting period if the bill goes through.
Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: Given CMS’ firm stance on not shortening the length of the 2015 EHR reporting period, Congressional action is probably the only way for it to happen. It is important to note that the bill has only been proposed and we gave up long ago trying to predict how Congress will vote when it comes to HIT. This is certainly something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
Encouraging news on patient attitudes towards telehealth? Another of the National Health IT Week “Asks” this year related to expansion of telehealth services and according to a new study published in Telemedicine and e-Health, a majority of patients have at least some interest in participating in a video-based appointment with their provider. 38% of respondents said they were “very likely” to accept an invitation to see their provider via video, 28% said they were “somewhat likely,” and one-third said they were “not at all likely.”
Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: It is certainly encouraging that many patients seem to be willing to give telehealth video visits a chance, but that is only part of the equation. As traditional barriers around reimbursement slowly start to fall, we also hope to see an increase in the number of healthcare organizations that currently offer telemedicine-based options.