Related laws and rules
Several state and federal laws guide our Health Information Technology (HIT) work:
- The federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is intended to promote the widespread adoption of HIT to support the electronic sharing of clinical data among hospitals, physicians, and other health care stakeholders. HCA administers two programs that received federal funding through the HITECH Act: The Electronic Health Records Incentive payment program and Washington Link4Health.
- In response to HITECH and other federal initiatives, the state Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5501 in April 2009. The bill accelerated the secure exchange of health data. It designates the HCA as the state agency responsible for appointing private sector and public sector organizations to lead implementation in a number of HIT program areas.
- The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is the principal federal entity charged with coordination
The Stage 1 final rule set the foundation for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs by establishing requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with electronic copies of health information. The Stage 2 final rule expanded upon the Stage 1 criteria with a focus on ensuring that the meaningful use of EHRs supported the aims and priorities of the National Quality Strategy. Stage 2 criteria encouraged the use of health IT for continuous quality improvement at the point of care and the exchange of information in the most structured format possible. In October 2015, CMS released a final rule that specifies criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs must meet in order to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs in 2015 through 2017 (Modified Stage 2) and in Stage 3 in 2017 and beyond.