KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sharp Criticism For Medicare’s Conversion To Electronic Medical Records

A federal report scheduled for release today details specific vulnerabilities of Medicare's EMR system.

The New York Times: Medicare Is Faulted On Shift To Electronic Records
The conversion to electronic medical records — a critical piece of the Obama administration's plan for health care reform — is "vulnerable" to fraud and abuse because of the failure of Medicare officials to develop appropriate safeguards, according to a sharply critical report to be issued Thursday by federal investigators (Abelson, 11/29).

Modern Healthcare: HHS Inspector General: EHR Programs Need Better Oversight
The CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS need to tighten up their oversight of the Medicare EHR incentive payment program, according to HHS' inspector general's office. The watchdog office, headed by Inspector General Daniel Levinson, offered a couple of recommendations for the agencies in its report, "Early Assessment Finds That CMS Faces Obstacles in Overseeing the Medicare EHR Incentive Program" (PDF). The report is based on audits of EHR incentive payment attestations, reviews of internal CMS and ONC documents about the program and interviews with CMS personnel (Conn, 11/29).

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