On Thursday, July 22, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) held a publicly available teleconference to give an overview of the 800+ page Final Rule on Meaningful Use (MU) under the HITECH Act, as well as an overview of the Final and Proposed Rules on Temporary & Permanent Certification Program and the Final Rule on the Standards and Certification Criteria for electronic health records (EHRs). CMS is making an “encore recording” of the 90-minute teleconference available until 11:00 pm, Saturday, July 24, 2010. Call toll-free, 1-800-642-1689 and enter the conference ID 87841621 to hear the encore recording. CMS will post an audio recording link to the teleconference on its EHR Incentive Programs website sometime in August 2010. The slides accompanying the audio are available on that same website, here (scroll to Downloads and click on the links for the July 22, 2010 Training materials).
Dr. David Blumenthal, the Chair of the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), kicked off the teleconference with an overview of CMS and ONC resources for the implementation of EHRs. He closed by stating that a lot of innovation will be needed to help providers and communities achieve the goals of EHRs. After he spoke, CMS representatives discussed the changes between the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued at the end of December 2009 and the MU Final Rule, followed by a discussion of the key criteria of MU. The MU discussion, which lasted about 40 minutes, was followed by a 20-minute discussion on the certification and standards. The CMS and ONC representatives answered listener’s questions during the final 10 minutes of the teleconference.