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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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What is the role of the Federal Government?

The Federal government has about 28 different quality initiatives, each of which has its own reporting requirements. Discussed in this section are a number of the Federal QI initiatives, such as the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (HQID), Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) and the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) that have demonstrated successes.  Additionally, as health IT has entered the spotlight, the Federal government has included its use in many of its initiatives, including DOQ-IT, an initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that encourages the use of Electronic Medical/Health Records (EMR/EHR) in small to medium sized doctors’ offices, and the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, an initiative by CMS to encourage EHR adoption and use.

With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and the directives for “Medicare incentives for adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology”, these initiatives have become even more important. The HIT Policy Committee, a Federal advisory committee of the Office of the National Coordinator, has been working to help define and clarify the term “meaningful use”. By defining “meaningful use” and subsequently using HIT in that manner, the Federal government aims to ensure that EHRs, registries and other forms of health IT are used in meaningful ways that are safe and secure, as well as provide physicians and health care professionals with the tools they need to offer the highest quality of care.

Additionally, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports a vast health care safety net, including health centers, Ryan White HIV/AIDS programs, rural health, and maternal and child health providers.  Through funding and support of many initiatives, including the HRSA Core Clinical Performance Measures and Health Disparities Collaborative, HRSA strives to ensure that patients seen by safety net providers, as well as all other patients receive the highest quality care possible.

Related Resources:

Quality Improvement – Health Resources and Services Administration
Glossary of Terms go to exit disclaimer- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Medicare and Medicaid Health IT: Title IV of the ARRA – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

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