Health IT Implications of Ruling
The Supreme Court ruling clears the way for health care providers to continue working on health IT projects related to the implementation of the reform law, according to the Wall Street Journal's "CIO Report" ("CIO Report," Wall Street Journal, 6/28).
Although the reform law does not directly address health IT adoption, some of the law's Medicare programs give preference to health care providers who have installed electronic health record systems (iHealthBeat, 6/22).
Other health IT-related provisions of the reform law include:
Demonstration projects for accountable care organizations, which use IT tools;
New collection and reporting responsibilities on health care disparities;
New health care-associated data collection by the Internal Revenue Service;
New operating rules to standardize HIPAA transactions;
Online-based insurance exchanges at the state level; and
Web-based enrollment for health care and human services programs (iHealthBeat, 2/1/11).
Health IT Stakeholders React to Supreme Court Ruling
In a statement, the eHealth Initiative said, "By upholding the law, the uncertainty about governmental programs to advance greater care coordination in the delivery of health care and quality-based payment reforms, supported by health IT, is removed" (eHealth Initiative release, 6/28).
H. Stephen Lieber -- president and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society -- in a statement said, "Now that the uncertainty around [the health reform law] has been settled, it is critical that we continue the momentum to transform health care, including the use of information technology." He added, "We are pleased that congressional support for nationwide adoption of health IT on both sides of the aisle remains strong, and has been unaffected by the debate on the health care reform law" (HIMSS release, 6/28).
Ruling Does Not Affect Meaningful Use Program
The Supreme Court ruling does not affect the meaningful use program, which was created by the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, not the 2010 health reform law. Under the stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (iHealthBeat, 6/22).
In a statement, HIMSS said, "[W]hile there are many potential implications for health IT in the [health reform law], the Medicare and Medicaid [EHR] Incentive Program was never in jeopardy regardless of the outcome of this case" (HIMSS release, 6/28).
Read more: http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2012/6/28/high-court-upholds-reform-law-health-it-stakeholders-weigh-in.aspx#ixzz1z7HJcNSm