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GAO: HHS Should Re-Examine EHR Program Strategies

EHRThe Government Accountability Office has urged the Department of Health and Human Services to realign its electronic health record programs strategies with intended goals.

Participation in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record programs rose between 2011 and 2012 but a significant number of providers that joined in 2011 did not participate in 2012, GAO said Mar. 6.

Auditors said that HHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services took steps to deal with various concerns but the congressional watchdog noted that efforts to address data reliability, performance monitoring, and quality and efficiency improvements remain “limited.”

“GAO recommends that HHS develop a comprehensive strategy to better ensure the reliability of (clinical quality measures) data collected using EHRs and develop and use outcome-oriented performance measures to monitor progress toward goals,” the agency said in its report to Congress.

CMS oversees the programs, which provide an incentive system designed to encourage hospitals, professionals and other providers to demonstrate meaningful use of EHR technology and meet other requirements.

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