IT Organizations Push for Remote Data in MU Rules

A group of eight health IT organizations—including HIMSS—is recommending that HHS include patient generated health data in the definition of an EHR system in its consideration of the meaningful use stage 3 requirements.

In a Nov. 22 letter addressed to Paul Tang, vice chairman, health IT policy committee for HHS, the group encouraged that the inclusion of such data as well as the interoperability of systems containing such data should be included in the stage 3 requirements.

“We cannot fully underscore how important it is for the HITPC to recommend the use and integration of patient generated health data as part of the MU stage 3 requirements,” according to the letter. “Involving this data will engage patients in their own care, can lead to improved lifestyle choices and improve overall health.”

Patient generated health data includes any information created, recorded, gathered or inferred by or from patients and their designees to help address a health concern. The National eHealth Collaborative panel recently concluded that PGHD can enhance patient care and raise accountability by healthcare providers, according to the letter.

Some PGHD data includes information created by remote monitoring systems.

As a result, the group also requested HHS recommend that under the CMS Incentive Payment Program EHRs should be required to incorporate open, voluntary and consensus-based industry standards for interoperability of remote patient monitoring devices, services and systems. The group maintains that voluntary standards, along with specifications for interoperability between remote monitoring products and EHRs, already exist and are being used in commercial products.

The group also contends that remote monitoring can lead to cost savings, citing a 2013 study that predicted that it would result in savings of $36 billion globally by 2018, with North America accounting for 75% of the savings. Organizations included in the group include:

  • American Telemedicine Association
  • Association for Competitive Technology
  • Center for Data Innovation
  • Continua Health Alliance
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
  • Telecommunications Industry Association
  • Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance