ONC Names 4 Groups to Certify EHRs in 2014

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Today in Government Health IT it was announced the ONC has already set up 4 vendors for the Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.  The names will look familiar as they were also in on Stage One which makes sense. Continue reading: ONC Names 4 Groups to Certify EHRs in 2014

Ingenix’s V.P. Strategic Initiatives: Kim LaFontana and the Ingenix Expert Physician Advisory Board “Gets Docs to Meaningful Use Fast”

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EHR Scope had some time to catch up with Ingenix’s Kim LaFontana about the recent announcement of Ingenix’s independent physician advisory board.  The purpose of the board is to “design solutions that will meet real-world needs.” Kim was very thorough in describing the challenges and successes of the current electronic health records industry and Ingenix’s ONC-ATCB certified CareTracker EHR solution.


“Using technology in your office should not impede your cash flow, should not slow clinicians down and it should not prevent you from having information. It’s a radical change to your world and the workflow, but what our teams have been focusing on, as we have introduced CareTracker EHR— is how to do it in a way that actually works for the physician and makes them feel like they are delivering better, more efficient care”.  –Kim LaFontana

Continue reading: Ingenix’s V.P. Strategic Initiatives: Kim LaFontana and the Ingenix Expert Physician Advisory Board “Gets Docs to Meaningful Use Fast”

Demand for EMR Consulting Services Among Doctors and Hospitals Increases

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Palm Beach Gardens, FL (October 7, 2010) – Online Electronic Medical Record (EMR) comparison and consulting service company EHR Scope, LLC is reporting a rise in the demand for its EMR vendor matching services through EMRConsultant.com – as well as doctors’ reliance on EMR consulting. As physicians are often unsure about what they need from an EMR service, more and more practices and hospitals are finding consultation services necessary.

“Busy doctors” contribute to the rising popularity of EMR consulting services. Physicians spend their entire workdays seeing patients and simply do not have the time to perform the proper research. This, coupled with doctors having fewer employees due to the recent reimbursement cutbacks, is leaving many doctors with the same questions about which EMR is the correct one for their specialty and their office. As the right EMR system will improve organization, decrease staff workload, and streamline office functions, the lack of time greatly increases the importance of making the right decision through the purchase and proper implementation of an EMR system.

Choosing an EMR is even further complicated by new government-backed initiatives that provide funding to physicians who successfully adopt Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. New standards of certification – established by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009 – have changed the government’s level of involvement in EMR regulation. Additionally, it has changed the plans for the American healthcare system over the next few years and has made it difficult to stay fully informed. Qualification for government funding under the ARRA program requires a full awareness of its standards -including “meaningful use” – and hiring an EMR consultancy helps the practice or hospital make an informed decision.

Certification by third-party, government-appointed certification bodies has been introduced to help give physicians confidence when purchasing an EMR system. An updated list from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has been published recently and it includes the following approved certification bodies: Certification Commission for Health IT (CCHIT), the Drummond Group and InfoGard. The recent addition of two new certification bodies (InfoGard and Drummond Group) has created an even more challenging environment for physicians searching for EMR systems that are eligible for government funding. Active certification by one of these three certification bodies is just one of the requirements for “meaningful use” funding.

New legislation and busier-than-ever medical professionals can certainly make the task of selecting the right EMR service seem daunting, but seeking a service like EMRConsultant.com makes the switch to electronic medical records more manageable.

About EMRConsultant.com
EMRConsultant.com, a division of EHRScope LLC, provides medical professionals with a free, online consulting service to match their practice or hospital with the best EHR service for their needs. Started in 2004 by Eric Fishman, MD, the company is today one of the largest and most sophisticated EMR consulting services available. For more information, visit them online at www.emrconsultant.com.

Drummond Group’s Beth Morrow: Challenges of Interoperability and Meaningful Use Conformance

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Wednesday October 13th, 2010-Recently we had a chance to catch up with Drummond Group’s President, Beth Morrow, to discuss the current status of EHR certification from the perspective of the approved certification bodies.  Thanks to Beth, EHR Scope has gained some insight to share regarding the ONC-ATCB certification testing process, as well as the struggles EHR software companies are currently enduring.

“Our biggest challenge is when folks are registering, and want to get in as soon as possible… then the date comes, and they aren’t ready.  The details of running these test scripts are substantial… It is very intensive work and not to be underestimated.”

Continue reading: Drummond Group’s Beth Morrow: Challenges of Interoperability and Meaningful Use Conformance

Health Care Systems, Inc.’s HCS eMR Receives ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certification

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MONTGOMERY, Ala., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Health Care Systems, Inc. (HCS) announced today that HCS eMR, Version 4, is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as an EHR Module on 9/30/2010 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ATCB, in accordance with the applicable HOSPITAL certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The 2011/2012 criteria support the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  

“HCS is proud to be one of the first vendors to achieve ONC-ATCB 2011-2012 compliance for meaningful use Stage 1 and we are pleased to have certified on all 29 criteria for clinical and security measures.  HCS’ meaningful use modules provide a rapid, inexpensive method for hospitals to achieve Stage 1 Meaningful Use that is customized to each hospital’s overall long term strategy.  Our solutions allow hospitals to focus on medication safety while reaching their goals for meaningful use,” said Dwight Henderson, President of HCS.

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that Complete EHRs meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria and EHR Modules meet one or more –but not all– of the criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.  ONC-ATCB product certification updates will be available at http://www.cchit.org as they occur.

“CCHIT is pleased to be testing and certifying products so that companies are now able to offer these products to providers who wish to purchase and implement certified EHR technology and achieve meaningful use in time for the 2011-2012 incentives,” said Karen M. Bell, M.D., M.S.S., Chair, CCHIT. 2011/2012 certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

About Health Care Systems, Inc.

Health Care Systems, Inc. specializes in patient safety solutions for hospital information systems. Our integration capabilities, pharmacy information systems, medication reconciliation, electronic medication administration record, and meaningful use solutions uniquely position HCS to bring integration, efficiency and accuracy to patient care. HCS utilizes the latest technology to successfully integrate with other systems within the health care industry. Additional information is available at www.hcsinc.net.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).  More information on CCHIT, CCHIT Certified® products and ONC-ATCB certified electronic health record technology is available at http://cchit.org.

About ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that EHR technology is capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The certifications include Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology and EHR Modules, which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria. ONC-ATCB certification aligns with Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology published in the Federal Register in July 2010 and strictly adheres to the test procedures published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the time of testing. ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification conferred by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

Sage Fully Engaged in Certification of Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition

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TAMPA, FL–(Marketwire – October 6, 2010) –  Sage North America today announced that the Sage Healthcare Division, a major provider of electronic health records (EHR) and practice management software and services to approximately 80,000 physicians in North America, is fully engaged in the process of certifying Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition as a qualified meaningful use solution, which will enable physicians to qualify for incentives under the HITECH stimulus package released as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) Act of 2009. Continue reading: Sage Fully Engaged in Certification of Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition

Allscripts Professional Electronic Health Record Receives ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certification as ‘Complete EHR’

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CHICAGO, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ — Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX) announced today that Allscripts Professional™ EHR, Version 9.2 is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a Complete EHR on Sept. 30, 2010 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB), in accordance with the applicable eligible provider certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The 2011/2012 criteria support the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100901/CG58147LOGO)

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100901/CG58147LOGO)

Additionally, the company announced that Allscripts ED™, Version 6.3 Release 4, and Allscripts PeakPractice™ Version 5.5 are both 2011/2012 compliant and were certified as EHR Modules on Sept. 30, 2010 by CCHIT, in accordance with the applicable hospital and eligible provider certification criteria, respectively, adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  

“This certification of the first group of Allscripts Electronic Health Records for mid-sized physician groups and for Emergency Department physicians demonstrates the significant progress we’ve made in certifying our entire portfolio of acute and ambulatory EHRs, all of which we’ve committed to complete before the end of the year, well in advance of when our clients will need the ARRA stamp of approval,” said Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts.

Mr. Tullman continued, “The Federal incentives for EHR adoption represent an unparalleled opportunity for healthcare organizations to bend the curve on healthcare quality and cost.  We believe our ARRA-certified products – coupled with our experience delivering meaningful value for tens of thousands of physician practices and hospitals across the country – make Allscripts an ideal organization to partner with as we create the future of healthcare together.”

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that Complete EHRs meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria and EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology. Companies offering ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certified EHR modules may return to test additional criteria and certify their products as Complete EHRs later. Companies certifying products early in the ONC-ATCB certification process must quickly adapt their products to meet the evolving nature of the NIST test procedures, particularly for electronic prescribing. ONC-ATCB product certification updates will be available at http://www.cchit.org as they occur.  

“CCHIT is pleased to be testing and certifying products so that companies are now able to offer these products to providers who wish to purchase and implement certified EHR technology and achieve meaningful use in time for the 2011-2012 incentives,” said Karen M. Bell, M.D., M.S.S., Chair, CCHIT.

2011/2012 certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

Allscripts Professional EHR

Allscripts Professional™ EHR, Version 9.2, certification number CC-1112-395691-1, meets all certification criteria under the eligible provider domain.

The clinical quality measures to which Allscripts Professional™ EHR, Version 9.2 has been certified include: NQF 0421, NQF 0013, NQF 0028, NQF 0041, NQF 0024, NQF 0038, NQF 0043, NQF 0031, and NQF 0001.

The additional software Allscripts Professional™ EHR, Version 9.2 relied upon to demonstrate compliance includes: Intuit/Medfusion patient portal for 170.304(g), and Allscripts Interface Engine for 170.302(h), 170.302(l) and 170.302(k).

Allscripts ED

Allscripts ED™, Version 6.3 Release 4, certification number CC-1112-814405-1, meets the following certification criteria under the hospital domain:

  • Foundational Security and Privacy
  • Drug-Drug/Drug-Allergy Checks, 170.302(a)  
  • Drug-Formulary Checks, 170.302(b)
  • Problem List, 170.302(c)  
  • Medication List, 170.302(d)
  • Allergy List, 170.302(e)
  • Vital Signs, 170.302(f)(1)
  • Body Mass Index, 170.302(f)(2)
  • Smoking Status. 170.302(g)
  • Incorporate Lab Results, 170.302(h)
  • Patient Lists, 170.302(i)
  • Medication Reconciliation, 170.302(j)
  • Immunization Registries, 170.302(k)
  • Automate Measure Calculation, 170.302(n)
  • Access Control, 170.302(o)
  • Emergency Access, 170.302(p)
  • Automatic Log-Off, 170.302(q)
  • Audit Log, 170.302(r)
  • Integrity, 170.302(s)
  • Authentication, 170.302(t)
  • General Encryption, 170.302(u)
  • Encryption when Exchanging Electronic Health Information, 170.302(v)
  • CPOE, 170.306(a)
  • Record Demographics, 170.306(b)
  • Clinical Decision Support, 170.306(c)  
  • Electronic Copy of Health Information: Discharge Summary, 170.306(d)(2)  
  • Electronic Copy of Discharge Information, 170.306(e)  
  • Advance Directives, 170.306(h)

The additional software Allscripts ED™, Version 6.3 Release 4 relied upon to demonstrate compliance includes: .NET Encryption Test Harness (open source tool) for 170.302(s) and 170.302(u) and Adobe Acrobat, Citrix Presentation Server, Citrix Secure Gateway, Citrix SSL Relay and Citrix ICA Client for 170.302(v).

Allscripts PeakPractice

Allscripts Allscripts PeakPractice™, Version 5.5, certification number CC-1112-216363-1, meets the following certification criteria under the eligible provider domain:

  • Foundational Security and Privacy
  • Drug-Drug/Drug-Allergy Checks, 170.302(a) 
  • Drug-Formulary Checks, 170.302(b)
  • Problem List, 170.302(c) 
  • Medication List, 170.302(d)
  • Allergy List, 170.302(e)
  • Vital Signs, 170.302(f)(1)
  • Body Mass Index, 170.302(f)(2)
  • Growth Charts, 170.302(f)(3)
  • Smoking Status. 170.302(g)
  • Incorporate Lab Results, 170.302(h)
  • Patient Lists, 170.302(i)
  • Medication Reconciliation, 170.302(j)
  • Immunization Registries, 170.302(k)
  • Education Resources, 170.302(m)
  • Access Control, 170.302(o)
  • Emergency Access, 170.302(p)
  • Automatic Log-Off, 170.302(q)
  • Audit Log, 170.302(r)
  • Integrity, 170.302(s)
  • Authentication, 170.302(t)
  • General Encryption, 170.302(u)
  • Encryption when Exchanging Electronic Health Information, 170.302(v)
  • Accounting of Disclosures, 170.302(w)
  • CPOE, 170.304(a)
  • Record Demographics, 170.304(b)
  • Patient Reminders, 170.304(d)
  • Clinical Decision Support, 170.304(e)
  • Timely Access, 170.304(g) 
  • Electronic Copy of Health Information 170.304(f)
  • Clinical Summaries 170.304(h)
  • Exchange Clinical Information and Patient Summary Record 170.304(i)

Allscripts Allscripts PeakPractice™, Version 5.5 did not rely upon additional software to demonstrate compliance.

About Allscripts

Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) provides innovative solutions that empower all stakeholders across the healthcare continuum to deliver world-class outcomes. The company’s clinical, financial, connectivity and information solutions for hospitals, physicians and post-acute organizations are the essential technologies that enable a connected healthcare community. To learn more about Allscripts, please visit www.allscripts.com, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).  More information on CCHIT, CCHIT Certified® products and ONC-ATCB certified electronic health record technology is available at http://cchit.org.

About ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that EHR technology is capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The certifications include Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology and EHR Modules, which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria. ONC-ATCB certification aligns with Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology published in the Federal Register in July 2010 and strictly adheres to the test procedures published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the time of testing. ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification conferred by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

HIT Jobs Creation – a long time coming

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With President-elect Obama’s proposed $20B over 2 years for HIT, he appears to be hoping to create 212,000 jobs, as in the previous post.  Let’s do the math.  This is $47,000 (give or take a couple hundred dollars) per job per year.

Of course, it would be expected that a significant portion of, and probably the majority of the $20B will go to software vendors, hardware vendors and even physicians, and a minority of it will end up as salary for new jobs.

There was another bill recently introduced, and favorably received but never passed, that would have allocated $100,000,000 for the anticipated production of 10,000 jobs.  For those mathemeticians amongst us, 10,000 squared is exactly 100 million, so that it was expected that it would cost the federal government $10,000 per new person trained.  The full text of the bill is appended at the bottom of this post. 

While admittedly mixing apples and oranges, or more accurately mixing training costs and employee salaries, there does seem to be a longer term trend towards increasing th enumber of HIT jobs in America than one would have expected from viewing the actual legislation that has passed through both houses of congress and been implemented.

We are all hoping that we find the proper trade-off between saving money and training and employing new people, to allow for the best quality medical care, at an affordable price, while not lowering physicians’ salaries in the process.

As seen http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-1467 

HR 1467 RFS

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1467

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 7, 2007

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


 

AN ACT

To authorize the National Science Foundation to award grants to institutions of higher education to develop and offer education and training programs.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `10,000 Trained by 2010 Act’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

The Congress finds that–

(1) the National Science Foundation has long been a government leader in strengthening our Nation’s information infrastructure;

(2) as automation and digitization reach the healthcare industry, that industry will need to draw heavily on the expertise of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation for the collection, processing, and utilization of information;

(3) the National Science Foundation’s basic research, demonstrations, and curriculum development assistance are all required to help make sure the industry has the knowledge, procedures, and workforce necessary to take full advantage of advanced communications and information technology;

(4) the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 136,000 Americans were employed in 2000 as information management professionals in the healthcare industry alone, with projected growth of 49 percent by 2010; and

(5) no systematic plan exists for designing and implementing systems and information tools and for ensuring that the healthcare workforce can make the transition to the information age.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) DIRECTOR- The term `Director’ means the Director of the National Science Foundation.

(2) INFORMATION- The term `information’ means healthcare information.

(3) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION- The term `institution of higher education’ has the meaning given that term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

SEC. 4. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION RESEARCH.

(a) Grants-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Director, in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies as appropriate, shall award grants for basic research on innovative approaches to improve information systems. Research areas may include–

(A) information studies;

(B) population informatics;

(C) translational informatics; and

(D) data security, integrity, and confidentiality.

(2) MERIT REVIEW; COMPETITION- Grants shall be awarded under this section on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis.

(3) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Science Foundation to carry out this subsection–

(A) $3,500,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(B) $3,600,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(C) $3,700,000 for fiscal year 2010; and

(D) $3,800,000 for fiscal year 2011.

(b) Informatics Research Centers-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Director, in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies as appropriate, shall award multiyear grants, subject to the availability of appropriations, to institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) to establish multidisciplinary Centers for Informatics Research. Institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) receiving such grants may partner with one or more government laboratories, for-profit institutions, or non-profit institutions.

(2) MERIT REVIEW; COMPETITION- Grants shall be awarded under this subsection on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis.

(3) PURPOSE- The purpose of the Centers shall be to generate innovative approaches in information by conducting cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research, including in the research areas described in subsection (a)(1).

(4) APPLICATIONS- An institution of higher education (or a consortium thereof) seeking funding under this subsection shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may require. The application shall include, at a minimum, a description of–

(A) the research projects that will be undertaken by the Center and the contributions of each of the participating entities;

(B) how the Center will promote active collaboration among professionals from different disciplines, such as information technology specialists, health professionals, administrators, and social science researchers; and

(C) how the Center will contribute to increasing the number of information researchers and other professionals.

(5) CRITERIA- In evaluating the applications submitted under paragraph (4), the Director shall consider, at a minimum–

(A) the ability of the applicant to generate innovative approaches to information and effectively carry out the research program;

(B) the experience of the applicant in conducting research in the information field, and the capacity of the applicant to foster new multidisciplinary collaborations;

(C) the capacity of the applicant to attract and provide adequate support for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue information research; and

(D) the extent to which the applicant will partner with government laboratories or for-profit or non-profit entities, and the role the government laboratories or for-profit or non-profit entities will play in the research undertaken by the Center.

(6) ANNUAL MEETING- The Director shall convene an annual meeting of the Centers in order to foster collaboration and communication between Center participants.

(7) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated for the National Science Foundation to carry out this subsection–

(A) $4,500,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(B) $4,600,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(C) $4,700,000 for fiscal year 2010; and

(D) $4,800,000 for fiscal year 2011.

SEC. 5. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION INFORMATION PROGRAMS.

(a) Capacity Building Grants-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Director, in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies as appropriate, shall establish a program to award grants to institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) to establish or improve undergraduate and master’s degree information programs, to increase the number of students who pursue undergraduate or master’s degrees in information fields, to provide students with experience in government or industry related to their information studies, and, to the extent practicable, to do so using distance learning.

(2) MERIT REVIEW; COMPETITION- Grants shall be awarded under this subsection on a merit-reviewed, competitive basis.

(3) USE OF FUNDS- Grants awarded under this subsection shall be used for activities that enhance the ability of an institution of higher education (or consortium thereof) to provide high-quality information education, including certification and undergraduate and master’s degree programs, and to recruit and retain increased numbers of students to such programs. Activities may include–

(A) developing and revising curriculum to better prepare undergraduate and master’s degree students for careers in the information field;

(B) establishing degree and certificate programs in the information field;

(C) creating opportunities in information research for undergraduate students;

(D) acquiring equipment necessary for student instruction in these programs, including the installation of testbed networks for student use;

(E) providing opportunities for faculty to work with State, local, or Federal Government agencies, private industry, and other academic institutions to develop new expertise or to formulate new information research directions;

(F) establishing collaborations with other academic institutions or departments that seek to establish, expand, or enhance these programs;

(G) establishing student internships for students in these programs at State, local, and Federal Government agencies or in private industry;

(H) establishing or enhancing bridge programs in information fields between community colleges and universities; and

(I) any other activities the Director, in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies as appropriate, determines will achieve the purposes described in paragraph (1).

(4) SELECTION PROCESS-

(A) APPLICATION- An institution of higher education (or a consortium thereof) seeking funding under this subsection shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and with such contents as the Director may require. The application shall include, at a minimum–

(i) a description of the applicant’s relevant research and instructional capacity, and in the case of an application from a consortium of institutions of higher education, a description of the role that each member will play in implementing the proposal;

(ii) a comprehensive plan by which the institution or consortium will build instructional capacity in information fields;

(iii) a description of relevant collaborations with State, local, or Federal Government agencies or private industry that inform the instructional program;

(iv) a survey of the applicant’s historic student enrollment and placement data and a study of potential enrollment and placement for students enrolled in the proposed program; and

(v) a plan to evaluate the success of the proposed program, including postgraduate assessment of graduate school and job placement and retention rates as well as the relevance of the instructional program to graduate study and to the workplace.

(B) AWARDS- The Director shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that grants are awarded under this subsection in a wide range of geographic areas and categories of institutions of higher education.

(5) ASSESSMENT REQUIRED- The Director, in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies as appropriate, shall evaluate the program established under this subsection no later than 3 years after the establishment of the program. At a minimum, the Director shall evaluate the extent to which the grants have achieved their objectives of increasing the quality and quantity of students pursuing undergraduate or master’s degrees in information fields. The Director shall make this assessment publicly available.

(6) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Science Foundation to carry out this subsection–

(A) $9,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(B) $9,200,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(C) $9,400,000 for fiscal year 2010; and

(D) $9,600,000 for fiscal year 2011.

(b) Scientific and Advanced Technology Act of 1992-

(1) GRANTS- The Director shall provide grants under the Scientific and Advanced Technology Act of 1992 for the purposes of section 3(a) and (b) of that Act, except that the activities supported pursuant to this subsection shall be limited to improving education in fields related to information.

(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Science Foundation to carry out this subsection–

(A) $7,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;

(B) $7,200,000 for fiscal year 2009;

(C) $7,400,000 for fiscal year 2010; and

(D) $7,600,000 for fiscal year 2011.

Passed the House of Representatives June 6, 2007.

Attest:

DEBORAH M. SPRIGGS,

Deputy Clerk.

Updates on eRX or e-Prescribing

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Updates on eRX or e-Prescribing
Keely’s Blog
Here is a good document on eRX that also summarizes the legislation going on in this area. Note that, “E-prescribing has been the subject of a significant amount of attention recently from Congress, after the introduction of legislation in both the House and the Senate that would provide financial incentives and disincentives for e-prescribing by ambulatory physicians under the Medicare program.

States Get Federal Backing to Build More Efficient Medicaid Systems

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States Get Federal Backing to Build More Efficient, High Quality Medicaid Systems
PR Newswire
In part, the funds will support more widespread use of electronic health care records that can be accessed by whole treatment teams, a move within the medical community to improve quality of care and reduce the potential for medical errors.