Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a key component in the move toward meaningful use of electronic health records. Because working with an HIE is relatively new to many in Public Health, there are a number of questions surrounding it. One of the biggest involves how the state’s HIE will support public health needs for the collection and monitoring of healthcare data. This data can include syndromic surveillance data, notifiable condition data, immunization, health registries, or other unique projects.
In a previous HMS blog entry, Vice President of Business Development Penn Krause provided insights on the article Public Health Struggling to meet Meaningful Use Challenges. As our friends in Public Health know, this isn’t new news. Last July, Barbara White (@frombarbara) tweeted the struggles of local public health officials (see Tech Target)
Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, challenged public health departments to take advantage of Meaningful Use reimbursement incentives. These incentives are available to providers who meet the Syndromic Surveillance requirements of Meaningful Use. Despite these enticing incentives, public health departments continue to face implementation challenges—one of the biggest being budget constraints. This article discusses how the ONC is modifying regulations in an attempt to address this issue.
The proposed rules for Stage 2 Syndromic Surveillance present both a challenge and an opportunity for public health professionals. Now that the Stage 2 requirements have been submitted for public comment, there are less than two years remaining before Syndromic Surveillance becomes mandatory. Non-compliance will result in ineligibility for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.
The following is excerpted from the proposed rules, posted form comment at http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-04443_PI.pdf. For convenience, the rules related to public health and syndromic surveillance are reproduced below, with a quick link to the PDF document for the citation.