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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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September 2012 - Subscribe to Health Information Technology and Quality eNews

National Health Information Technology Week

September 10-14


HRSA Events

  • HRSA Health IT and Quality Webinar: “ONC Privacy and Security Update and Game Demo,” Tuesday, September 11, 10 AM ET. Register now. exit disclaimer
  • HRSA Health IT and Quality Webinar: “Leadership Tips During a Health IT Implementation,” Friday September 14, 2 PM ET. Register now. exit disclaimer
  • HRSA Health IT and Quality Webinar, "Overview of Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule," Tuesday September 16, 1PM ET, Register Now. exit disclaimer

Federal and Partner Events

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Webinar: “Leveraging Mobile Health Solutions for Health Services Research,” Monday, September 10, 3:30 PM ET. Register now. exit disclaimer
  • Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative Webinar: "Improving Patient Care Through Meaningful Use PCPCC Advancing Primary Care through Health IT," Tuesday September 11, 2 PM ET. Register Now exit disclaimer
  • National eHealth Collaborative Webinar: "Standards, Interoperability, and Health Information Exchang NeHC Standards & Interoperability Framework," Thursday, September 13, 1 PM ET. Register Now. exit disclaimer

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Rule Released 


On August 24, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final rule for Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs (PDF-1.8 MB). The rule provides new criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to successfully participate in the EHR Incentive Programs.

The Stage 2 requirements of the EHR Incentive Programs expand the use of health information technology beyond data capture to enhance the exchange of information across health care providers with an increased focus on care coordination, patient safety, patient and family engagement, effectiveness, efficiency, and population health. The rule advanced the requirements for several existing Stage 1 objectives and added some new objectives for Stage 2. Eligible providers will be required to report on 20 clinical quality measures (17 core and 3 of 6 menu) and eligible hospitals and CAHs will be required to report on 19 measures (16 core and 3 of 6 menu) in order to meet the Stage 2 requirements.

On September 18 at 1pm ET HRSA will produce a webinar featuring presenters from CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. This webinar will be geared towards how this new rule affects safety net providers such as health centers, rural providers and hospitals, and Ryan White Clinics. Please click here to register. exit disclaimer Please the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website or The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Meaningful Use Website for the latest news, technical assistance resources and updates on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs.

HRSA’s New Health Information Technology (IT) Website and Meaningful Use Webpage for Safety Net Providers

This month HRSA launches a brand new and improved Health IT website and a new Meaningful Use for Safety Net Providers webpage. The new HRSA Health IT website provides a one stop shop for resources to meet the needs of the safety net providers adopting and implementing health IT including information on ICD-10 conversion, use of mhealth, health IT toolboxes, pre-recorded webinars, implementation of quality improvement projects, and health IT workforce training.

HRSA’s new “Meaningful Use for Safety Net Providers” webpage is a technical assistance resource focused specifically on the needs of safety net providers seeking to qualify for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) meaningful use incentive programs. The website was developed in collaboration with the CMS and was created to address the needs of a wide variety of safety net providers including community health centers, Ryan White Clinics, and rural providers and hospitals.

Please visit HRSA’s new Health IT website and Meaningful Use webpage for more information.

Health Resource and Services Administration's New Clinical Quality and Performance Measures Toolkit

The HRSA Clinical Quality and Performance Measures Toolkit was developed to specifically address the needs of safety net providers seeking to initiate or upgrade their quality activities. The toolkit features proven strategies and techniques to implement or enhance a safety net provider organization's new or existing quality improvement program. The toolkit's wide range of practical, convenient, and useful tools support data collection, program implementation, and performance measurement.

The toolkit also contains clinical quality measure modules focused on critical primary care and chronic disease topics including, but not limited to: screening for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancer; diagnosis and management of diabetes; screening and hypertension control. These quality improvement resources are adaptable and have been compiled from past and current successful quality improvement initiatives.

Please visit the HRSA Clinical Quality and Performance Measure Toolkit for more information.

Office of the National Coordination for Health Information Technology (IT) Announcements

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Updates

New The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) and the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) special issue on Integrating Primary Care and Public Health.

The articles in this issue, several of which were co-authored by HRSA staff, offer insight on how to advance and integrate primary care and public health to improve population health and promote health equity, especially in the areas of education, practice, and policy. Articles describe lessons learned, perspectives, and accomplishments from health centers, health departments, academia and policy experts at the intersection of primary care and public health.

HRSA contributed to this unique collaboration, along with three other HHS agencies—the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities.

This online-only journal will be available to its grantees, partners, staff, and the general public at no cost. To access and download the articles, go to:
American Journal of Preventive Medicine ( exit disclaimer and American Journal of Public Health ( exit disclaimer

Please e-mail for more information.

Health IT Workforce Updates

HIMSS JobMine- Connecting Health IT Professionals to Safety Net Providers

HIMSS Career Services Center, powered by HIMSS® JobMine, is excited to announce its expanded focus to meet the health IT career and workforce development needs of safety net providers throughout the United States. Through this effort, HRSA grantees will be able to leverage the HIMSS ® JobMine site to post and search resumes, take advantage of career development services, and post job openings – all at no charge to these safety net providers.
Informational Webinar and Resources Available Online

Competency Exam for Health IT Professionals

Through an arrangement with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), HRSA has secured a limited number of vouchers for the health IT professional competency exams. These exams enable health IT professionals, employers, and other stakeholders to assess and validate their health IT competency levels. The exams may also be used by employers to identify training gaps and personnel needs integral to achieving meaningful use of electronic health information.

This voucher waives the exam fee for one time only and provides the opportunity for health IT professionals to take one of the six exams offered. Individuals and health IT professionals interested in working with safety net providers can request a voucher for taking this professional competency exam.
For more information, visit ONC’s Competency Examination Program website.

To request a voucher or for additional questions, please contact or visit HRSA’s Health IT Workforce webpage.

Meaningful Use Round Up

  • Meaningful Use Stage 2 Rule Released (PDF- 1.8MB)
  • April’s Fourth Annual Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Multi-State Medicaid HITECH Conference Materials Now Available exit disclaimer
  • ONC Releases New “Guide on Health Information, Privacy and Security and Meaningful Use” (PDF-758KB)

mHealth Updates

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Webinar: “Leveraging Mobile Health Solutions for Health Services Research,” Monday, September 10 3:30 PM ET. Register now exit disclaimer

ICD-10 Update

On August 24, 2012, HHS Secretary Sebelius announced a final rule that delays the compliance date for use of new International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes, or ICD-10 until October 1, 2014. ICD-10 include codes for new procedures and diagnoses that provide enhanced information for quality improvement and payment purposes. More information on the final rule is available in a fact sheet at The final rule may be viewed at

Please see the HRSA ICD-10 or CMS 1CD-10 websites for more information.

New HRSA Health Information Technology and Quality Website Items

HRSA “Network Guide” Now Available

HRSA’s “Guide to Health Center Networks,” developed in collaboration with the National Association of Community Health Centers, is now available. This Guide is a user-friendly resource for HRSA grantees, safety net providers, and all health care organizations seeking information and technical assistance with their quality improvement and operational efforts. The Guide provides a central starting point to learn more about specific Health Center Networks and offers helpful tips to engage directly with potential Network partners. The Guide was developed to support stakeholders in their consideration and selection of a Health Center Network.

The Guide includes valuable resources, such as data and tables, for helping safety net providers learn about health center networks. The Guide contains data from more than 40 Networks on quality and health care delivery improvement, operational management, and HIT in the safety net. In addition, the guide has 25 tables of data to enable the user to distinguish among the networks’ different approaches, services, and areas of expertise, including information on accreditation programs, membership options and existing member organizations, registries/data warehouses, personal health records, electronic mobile health applications, health information exchanges, interfaces, electronic health records, and central IT and administrative function support. HRSA hopes this guide will be a valuable resource for safety providers seeking information with their quality improvement and health IT operational efforts.

A PDF of the guide may be downloaded through the HRSA Health IT Website.

Questions may be submitted to HRSA Health IT Mailbox at

New HRSA Health Information Technology (IT) and Quality Webinar Website and New Webinars Online

Last month, HRSA unveiled a newly reorganized Health IT and Quality Webinar website. In the last 3 years these webinars have attracted over 30,000 people both live and online. The website organizes all 39 HRSA Health IT and Quality webinars into five topics, including:

Register for future events and access all previous webinars at the HRSA Health IT and Quality Webinar website.

Three recent popular HRSA Health IT and Quality webinars that attracted a combined audience of more than 7,000 participants are now available online:

In the coming months, HRSA will post online PDFs of all slide decks from past webinars. For questions, information, or requests for future webinar topics please e-mail

Quality Improvement Grantee Spotlight: Hunter Health Clinic, Inc Use of Electronic Medical Records to Improve Vision Care for Diabetes

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Quality Improvement Website is pleased to highlight Hunter Health Clinic, Inc. and their use of an electronic health record (EHR) to support vision care for patients with diabetes. Hunter is a grantee of both the Indian Health Services (IHS) and HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care. They are the only urban Native American health program in the State of Kansas as well as the only federally funded Health Care for the Homeless center in Wichita. Hunter went live with their EHR in October 2009 and is using the IHS’s Reporting Patient Management System (RPMS), a decentralized, integrated solution for the management of both clinical and administrative information. Hunter has successfully been using RPMS and tracking quality measures to improve health care quality and patient outcomes in their patient populations, including supporting diabetic patients with their vision care needs.

Click Here to Read More.

Health Information Technology Grantee Spotlight: AltaMed Meaningful Using Dental Electronic Health Record for Care Coordination

In recognition of September’s National Health Information Technology (IT) Week, HRSA’s Health IT website is highlighting the AltaMed community health center’s integration of the electronic health record (EHR) with an electronic dental record (EDR) to improve care coordination within its primary care centered home model of care. By demonstrating meaningful use of the EHR technology, AltaMed became eligible for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ EHR Incentive Program in 2011. To date, over 90 medical providers and 9 dentists working at AltMed have qualified for the Meaningful Use Stage 1 Incentives. Dentists at AltaMed were able to qualify as a result of their access and integration with AltaMed’s certified EHR.

Click Here to Read More.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Awards $4 million in New Health Information Technology (IT) Behavioral Health Grants – Health Centers Included

SAMHSA has announced more than $4 million in new grants for Health IT services for communities across the nation, including two health centers. The purpose of this program is to leverage technology to enhance and/or expand the capacity of substance abuse treatment providers to serve people who traditionally have been underserved because of lack of access to treatment in their immediate community. The use of HIT, including web-based services, smart phones, and behavioral health electronic applications (e-apps), will expand and/or enhance the ability of providers to effectively communicate with persons in treatment and to track and manage their health to ensure treatment and services are available where and when needed. Grantees will use technology that will support recovery and resiliency efforts and promote wellness.

Please click here for more information.

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) Health Information Technology (IT) Communities of Practice for Health Centers

NACHC recently announced the launch of the Communities of Practice (CoP) in Meaningful Use topics that may be of interest to HRSA grantees and staff. CoPs are open to both NACHC members and non-members and are offered free of charge as a value-added service of NACHC.The Meaningful Use Communities of Practice will focus on:

1) EHR Adoption and Implementation
2) EHR Optimization
3) Patient Engagement

Please visit NACHC’s CoP for more information. exit disclaimer