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Required Reading for All Health Executives – Key Draft Report Released Regarding Health Information Technology

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On the day before the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the ONC released its draft Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs. The November 28, 2018 draft is expected to be at the forefront of discussions, and the public comment period closes on January 28, 2019. We encourage all stakeholders to review the report, as it is likely to have a significant effect on health IT for decades to come.

The 21st Century Cures Act requires HHS to both establish a goal for reducing the regulatory and administrative burdens related to the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT and to develop a strategy and recommendations for meeting that goal. The ONC's draft strategy outlines three primary goals in response to this congressional directive: (1) reducing the effort and time required to record information in an EHR during the delivery of care; (2) reducing the effort and time required to satisfy regulatory reporting requirements for health care providers; and (3) improving the functionality and usability of EHRs.

In the blog post releasing the 74-page proposal, ONC Chief Clinical Officer Andrew Gettinger, M.D. and CMS Chief Medical Officer Kate Goodrich, M.D. noted that the "draft strategy includes recommendations that will allow physicians and other clinicians to provide effective care to their patients with a renewed sense of satisfaction for them and their patients." The proposal further states that its recommendations "represent the best next steps to address the growing problem of clinician burden related to their use of health IT and EHRs."

Baker Donelson is continuing to review the draft strategy and its potential impact on health care providers, health IT vendors and all stakeholders to the health care system. We will be assisting clients in assessing the issues that will arise as a result of the changes. For more information, please contact Alisa Chestler, Andrew Droke, or a member of Baker Donelson's Health Information Technology Team.

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