Keep up to date with Massachusetts eHealth related news, opportunities and program updates.

News for November 2016
MeHI, the Massachusetts eHealth Institute  at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is the designated state agency for promoting  Health IT  innovation, technology and competitiveness to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of health care across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Mass HIway Proposed Regulation

On Friday, November 4, 2016 the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) posted a proposed regulation specific to health information technology and the state-sponsored health information exchange, the Mass HIway. The proposed regulation covers policies and procedures that affect use of the Mass HIway and the required adoption of interoperable electronic health records.
 
The proposed regulation provides specificity about the entities who are required to connect to the Mass HIway and establishes the timeline in which they are required to connect and penalties for noncompliance. It also establishes mechanisms to allow patients to opt-in or opt-out of the Mass HIway. 

Full details, including summaries of the proposed regulations, are included via the links below:
  • View the Mass HIway Summary Regulations document (PDF) here.
  • View the Mass HIway Policies & Procedures - Version 3 document (PDF)here
About the Proposed Regulations:
 
According to the Mass HIway's Summary document, the proposed regulations apply to key requirements of Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.) Chapter 118I:

1) The requirement for all providers to implement a fully interoperable electronic health record (EHR) that connects to the Mass HIway, the statewide health information exchange (HIE); and
2) The establishment of a mechanism to allow patients to opt-in and opt-out of the Mass HIway.

To help ensure that regulations were developed through an open, transparent process, EOHHS gathered feedback from multi-stakeholder advisory groups and presented proposals for discussion at publicly held meetings of the Health Information Technology Council.

Public Comment Period Key Dates:
  • The deadline for public comments is 5:00 PM November 29th, 2016; and 
  • The goal is to finalize regulations by late January 2017.
To access the full proposed regulations, including instructions on how to submit comments, visit:  www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/laws-regs/hhs/public-hearings.html
Update on the 90-Day EHR Reporting Period Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is finalizing a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016 and 2017 for all returning Eligible Professionals (EPs), Eligible Hospitals (EHs), and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) that have previously demonstrated Meaningful Use in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. For Program Year 2016 and Program Year 2017, the EHR reporting period will be any continuous 90-day period between January 1st and December 31st. First-time participants will also use a 90-day EHR reporting period, as outlined in a previous  Final Rule.

CMS is extending the 90-day EHR reporting period to include Program Year 2017 to provide flexibility for healthcare providers who are preparing for Stage 3 and the implementation of 2015 Edition Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT). CMS is making additional changes to Meaningful Use requirements, including elimination of the Clinical Decision Support (CDS) and Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) objectives and measures for dually-eligible Eligible Hospitals (EHs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) only.

CMS is also modifying requirements for participants attesting to Meaningful Use for the first time in 2017, hardship exceptions for providers transitioning to MIPS, and measure calculations for actions outside of the EHR Reporting Period. 

To learn more, please see the CMS Fact Sheet (scroll ¾ down to Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program section) or view the new Final Rule in its entirety. 
MeHI Forum Gathers Grantees to Advance Health IT Learning

Over a hundred attendees, representing 58 Massachusetts healthcare organizations, joined their fellow grantees and trading partners from the eQuality Incentive Program and the Connected Communities Program, to receive health IT-related education, policy updates, and the opportunity to network with peers and industry leaders. 

The list of speakers included experts on  workflow process, state programs, and health IT implementation. 

Four of the Connected Communities grantees - Berkshire Medical Center, Lowell General PHO, Reliant Medical Group and Whittier IPA - shared their project approach and progress during an afternoon grantee showcase.

Presentation slide decks are available on the event webpage under " Materials ". We encourage those involved with health IT projects to review these resources since the information could benefit a greater audience beyond the grantees.
Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Updates
Eligible PCNS Must Register for Incentive Program by Dec. 5 
Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists (PCNS) can now attest for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Program Year 2016 is the last year a new Eligible Professional (EP) can initiate participation in the program to earn incentives.

Register NOW! The first step to begin participation is to register at the CMS Registration & Attestation website.

Most PCNS require a Special Enrollment to become a recognized Mass Health payee. You must submit your special enrollment documents by December 5, 2016. Completion of enrollment is not guaranteed if received after December 5th. Don't miss the opportunity to attest and receive your incentive as a PCNS.

We are here to help. Contact us for support if you have any difficulty in the registration process. Call 1-855-MassEHR or email at massehr@masstech.org .

If you missed this month's webinars, you can review the presentation slides and recordings here.

Check out the registration details in MeHI's MU Toolkit for Eligible Professionals ( Click Button).


Last Chance to Participate in the Medicaid Incentive Program
If you are a Physician (MD), Pediatrician, Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, or Dentist whose practice serves at least 30% Medicaid patients and you have acquired a 2014 Certified EHR, consider participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Program Year 2016 is the last year an Eligible Professional can initiate participation. Please register by December 5, 2016 to ensure timely access to the attestation system. The deadline to attest is March 31, 2017.

To register, follow these step-by-step instructions within our MU Toolkit for EPs.

Questions? Call 1-855-MassEHR or email at massehr@masstech.org.
Program Year 2016 Deadlines

Funding Opportunity
New MeHI RFP Seeks Vendors to Develop CBHI Interfaces for CANS Reporting 

MeHI is soliciting qualified behavioral health Electronic Health Record (EHR) system vendors to apply for grants to develop, test, and implement an HL7 interface that will automatically extract data from the EHR system, compile it according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services' (EOHHS) Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) interface specification, and submit it to the Commonwealth's system.

Behavioral health providers have identified redundancies in data entry for reporting Children and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessments to EOHHS' system that take away from their ability to provide high quality patient care. The grant funding incentivizes vendors to build an interface so the data can be collected once within an EHR, and sent via the Mass HIway to the state's system. This will improve the efficiency of the process and allow providers to focus on patient care.

Responses are due Monday, December 12th 3:00 p.m. via email to  proposals@masstech.org.

Visit our funding opportunity webpage for more information.
News Articles
Massachusetts Extends Deadline for EHR Adoption
New England Psychologist | November 1, 2016

Five Tips You Need to Ease Patient Concerns In the Digital Age
Modern HealthcareNovember 1, 2016

Best Hospital IT Departments 2016: CIOs Talk Emerging Technologies with Biggest Potential
Healthcare IT NewsNovember 15, 2016
Upcoming Industry Events 
HIE for Long Term Post-Acute Care Providers Webinar
This live overview will explore the trends in health information technology and health information exchange that support transformational care delivery models. As agencies embark on the journey from fee-for-service to value-based care, enabling technology to improve quality, enhance care coordination across populations, and reduce utilization and cost is vital to success. A basic introduction to the functionality of the Mass HIway and the multiple value streams realized by trading partners will be provided, along with specific use cases of the Mass HIway amongst LTPAC providers. 

WHEN:
Thursday, December 1st @ 12:00 PM 
HIMSS Privacy & Security Forum
The HIMSS Privacy & Security Forum will allow you to meet with senior healthcare IT professionals and subject-area experts to ask the tough questions and learn from the industry's best.

Taking place in Boston, this event will feature three highly targeted days of keynotes, case studies, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Discover first-hand how organizations like yours are preventing, detecting, responding to, or recovering from today's most daunting threats.
  • Assess your facility's short-term and long-term privacy and security needs, and develop a plan of action through hands-on case studies;
  • Learn the latest strategies to ensure the safe transfer and storage of personal health information, and how to implement them successfully; and
  • Network with peers, thought leaders and research technologists, and get practical and actionable knowledge to protect your organization and build your career.
View the  Agenda and the  Speaker List for more details about this forum. 

WHEN:
Monday, December 5th - Wednesday, December 7th

WHERE:
The Westin Boston Waterfront
Grand Ballroom - Concourse Level
425 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
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