Posts Tagged ‘HITECH’

Dr. Watson? IBM to Expand Watson Supercomputer Abilities

Friday, January 10th, 2014

IBM is creating a business unit for the Watson supercomputer to encourage more apps built on the technology. The US $1B venture capital fund will include apps such as building versions of Watson that will data mine patient health records to determine optimal treatments and lifestyle changes.

Will Watson’s approach include access to willing Electronic Medical Record systems, patient Personal Health Records and healthy outcome resources? Perhaps even using social media for drawing comparisons? If so, this could be the beginning of a Grand Unified Theory of patient care and outcomes. After all, why should a patient get a second opinion when he can have a thousand?

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Electronic Health Records Improvement Act (H.R. 1331)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

The summary below of the Electronic Health Records Improvement Act was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Electronic Health Records Improvement Act – Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to exempt certain eligible physicians in solo practice and physicians near early retirement age from the application of the Medicare payment adjustment for not demonstrating electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use for certain payment years.

Establishes a special rebate for eligible professionals who receive a negative adjustment to their payments for failure to establish an EHR process but subsequently do establish a process meeting the criteria for establishing meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

Creates specified additional exceptions to the application of the Medicare negative payment adjustment for certain Medicaid providers participating in the Medicaid EHR incentive program and hospital-based eligible professionals not demonstrating EHR meaningful use.

Adds as a criterion for meaningful EHR user that an eligible professional satisfactorily uses a qualified national specialty registry system that measures quality improvement or improves patient safety.

Directs the Secretary to specify criteria for determining:

(1) if a national specialty registry system is qualified under this Act, and

(2) if an eligible professional has demonstrated satisfactory use of such a system for a period.


(1) Medicare EHR incentives (increased payments and adjustments) to eligible professionals practicing in rural health clinics, and

(2) Medicare Electronic Prescribing (ERx) and quality reporting incentives to rural health clinics.

Disqualifies claims for items or services furnished by an eligible professional at an ambulatory surgical center during performance years for the 2015, 2016, or 2017 payment determinations from inclusion in data used to determine if the eligible professional is a meaningful EHR user.

Exempts certain eligible professionals from certain EHR meaningful use requirements for purposes of the Medicare payment adjustment.

Creates a process for eligible professionals to appeal a determination that they did not qualify as a meaningful EHR user.

Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to make certain requirements of this Act inapplicable to eligible professional Medicaid provider incentives to encourage the adoption and use of certified EHR technology.

For most recent information on this bill, visit