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A Dose of Reality in the Virtual World of Health IT

Friday, September 28, 2012

Electronic devices are pervasive throughout our culture. Still, they are a relatively new phenomenon in the physician’s office, even though electronic health records (EHRs) can help consumers stay connected with their care managers, monitor their health, and get reminders that it’s time to take their medicine. They can also help to better coordinate care, avoid duplication of services and eliminate medication errors.

Recently, adoption of EHRs, even those by physicians in smaller practices, has taken off. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, a provision of the 2009 economic stimulus package, provides incentives to physicians if they can demonstrate they are making “meaningful use” of the technology for clinical and administrative functions.

The September 28 briefing assess the progress of the act. How do HITECH programs such as Meaningful Use and Beacon Coedmmunities support the adoption of electronic health records? How does health information technology fit in the strategy for health care delivery transformation? What role are EHRs playing in care coordination, accountable care organizations and other innovations? What are the special challenges facing solo and small physician practices? How about safety net providers? What does the evidence show about the contribution health IT can make toward improving care and lowering costs?

A distinguished panel of experts addressed these and related questions. Speakers were: Farzad Mostashari, HHS’s National Coordinator of Health IT; Craig Samitt, Dean Health System, WI; Christine Sinsky, M.D., Medical Associates Clinic and Health Plans, IA; and Andrew Racine, M.D., Montefiore Medical Center, NY. Deanna Okrent of the Alliance and Anne Marie Audet of Commonwealth co-moderated.

CONTACT: Deanna Okrent or
Marilyn Werber Serafini


 Deanna Orkent, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Anne Marie Audet, The Commonwealth Fund, Moderator
 Farzad Mostashari, HHS’s National Coordinator of Health IT, Speaker
 Craig Samitt, Dean Health System, WI, Speaker
 Andrew Racine, Montefiore Medical Center, NY, Speaker
 Christine Sinsky, Medical Associates Clinic and Health Plans, IA, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Full Webcast/Podcast: Webcast Link

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Audet Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/28/2012
Samitt Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/28/2012
Racine Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/28/2012
Sinsky Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/28/2012
Mostashari Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/28/2012

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/28/2012
Source List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/28/2012
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/28/2012

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Better Care through Sharing Electronic Medical Records., Health Affairs Blog, 9/4/2012
Finding the Meaning in Meaningful Use, The New England Journal of Medicine, 9/1/2011
CMS and ONC Final Regulations Define ‘Meaningful Use’ and Set Standards for Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7/13/2010
EHR adoption rates jump for solo practices, American Medical News, 3/26/2012
EHR standards get tougher under finalized meaningful use stage 2, American Medical News, 9/3/2012
First Year of CMS’s Incentive Programs Shows Opportunities to Improve Processes to Verify Providers Met Requirements, Government Accountability Office, 4/1/2012
NCHS Data Brief: Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems: United States, 2011, Center for Disease Control, 7/1/2012
Making IT Meaningful: How Consumers Value and Trust Health IT, National Partnership for Women & Families, 2/1/2012
Final rules for Stage 2 meaningful use released, Healthcare IT News, 8/21/2012
Meaningful Use’ of Electronic Health Records, Health Affairs, 8/24/2010
What Does Meaningful Use Stage Two Final Rule Mean for FPs?, American Academy of Family Physicians, 9/5/2012
Washington Health Policy Week in Review Next Stage of Meaningful Use Regulations Drawing Hill Scrutiny, The Commonwealth Fund, 9/4/2012
Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records: Does it Improve Health Outcomes?, Becker’s Hospital Review, 8/10/2012
Certification/Adoption Workgroup Usability Panel, Certification/Adoption Workgroup, 4/21/2011
HIT Policy Meaningful Use Workgroup Care Coordination Panel, Meaningful Use Workgroup, 8/2/2010
Transforming Health Care: The Role of Health IT, Bipartisan Policy Center, 1/1/2012
Meaningful Use Stage 3 Emphasizes Better Decision Support, Information Week Healthcare, 8/6/2012
Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Record Systems and Process Quality of Care: Evidence from a Panel Data Analysis of U.S. Acute-Care Hospitals, Health Services Research, 7/20/2012
At a Glance: Stage 2 Final Rule, Healthcare IT News, 8/23/2012
The ‘Meaningful Use’ Regulation for Electronic Health Records, The New England Journal of Medicine, 8/5/2010
The Financial and Nonfinancial Costs of Implementing Electronic Health Records in Primary Care Practices, Health Affairs, 3/1/2011
Escaping the EHR Trap – The Future of Health IT, The New England Journal of Medicine, 6/14/2012
Electronic Medical Records and Communication with Patients and Other Clinicians: Are We Talking Less?, Center for Studying Health System Change, 4/1/2010
Evaluation Design and Technical Assistance Opportunities: Early Findings from the Beacon Community Program Evaluation Teams, The Commonwealth Fund, 1/1/2012
Epic Challenge: What the Emergence of an EMR Giant Means for the Future of Healthcare Innovation, Forbes, 6/9/2012
Using Electronic Health Records to Improve Quality and Efficiency: The Experiences of Leading Hospitals, The Commonwealth Fund, 7/1/2012
Surprising Decline in Consumers Seeking Health Information, Center for Studying Health System Change, 11/1/2011
Comparative User Experiences of Health IT Products: How User Experiences Would Be Reported and Used, Institute of Medicine, 9/1/2012


Private sector physicians are increasingly adopting electronic health records, and they will continue to do so, Anne-Marie Audet of The Commonwealth Fund said at a

Private sector physicians are increasingly adopting electronic health records, and they will continue to do so, Anne-Marie Audet of The Commonwealth Fund said at a Sept. 28 Alliance briefing, A Dose of Reality in the Virtual World of Health IT.

Providing monthly data reports to physicians has improved care quality at Dean Health System in Wisconsin, Craig Samitt said at a Sept. 28 Alliance briefing, A Dose of Reality in the Virtual World of Health IT. (photo by James Ryder)

Farzad Mostashari, HHS's point person on electronic health records, gives a status report on the 2009 stimulus money that has helped medical providers to adopt electronic records, and the "meaningful use" status of those systems. (Photo by James Ryder)

Despite benefits, electronic health records present challenges, Christine Sinsky of Medical Associates said at a Sept. 28 briefing. They're working longer hours, and are looking at computer monitors more and patient faces less, she said. (Photo by James Ryder)

Opting out of the Medicaid expansion would leave hospitals and physicians with an uninsured problem, says Lumpkin. "Who's going to pay for those costs? They're going to be asking their state governments to help."


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