ONC’s Annual Meeting Sees Health IT as Foundation for New Payment Policies
More than 1,200 grantees, stakeholders, and other members of the public came together December 12 at the 2012 ONC Annual Meeting to discuss the successes, challenges and impacts of the wide-spread health information technology (health IT) adoption to improve care. This year’s theme, “The Meaningful Foundation for the Future of Healthcare,” evoked how meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) is enabling providers to thrive under new payment and delivery systems.
National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari lauded the many personal success stories of those who have improved health care through health IT. He inspired those gathered to “believe that information is power, and that technology holds the promise that tomorrow will be better than today.”
A wide range of speakers discussed progress in the exchange of health information, the growing use and need for new security for mobile devices, and the importance of all stakeholders — especially consumers — in helping HHS develop meaningful use requirements in stages to serve as building blocks for the future. Participants heard from Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) about the importance of ensuring that all providers and patients have access to EHRs and that EHRs are interoperable to ensure that patients and clinicians have health information when they need it most – at the point of care.
To cap the day, a distinguished panel of experts, including George Halvorson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente; David Wennberg, MD, CEO, Northern New England Accountable Care Collaborative; and Karen DeSalvo, MD, Health Commissioner, City of New Orleans, discussed “Health IT as the Foundation for the 3-part Aim ”.
Among the key themes discussed was the idea that health IT is a critical enabler to providers’ success in this era of accountable care. Through meaningful use of EHRs, hospitals and physicians will be prepared to perform essential functions necessary for care coordination, population based care management, and improvements to quality of care over time.
All in all, the annual meeting was a day for celebration as well as reflection. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long journey ahead. As we look forward to a new year, we encourage you to feel good about the distance we’ve traveled and celebrate our successes, along with the states – Maine, Kentucky, and Ohio – all of whom were acknowledged for reaching new milestones in Meaningful Use achievements. (View videos about these achievements on HealthIT.gov.)
But don’t rest on your laurels too long! We need your help as we push forward in making certain meaningful use requirements have everyone prepared for the new delivery system.
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