Health IT

Minnesota Efforts

2015 Interoperable Electronic Health Record Mandate By January 1, 2015 all hospitals and health care providers must have in place an interoperable electronic health record system. Recognizing that some providers may not be able to achieve the mandate by the deadline, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) does not have a fine or formal penalty for non-compliance. Nonetheless, MDH recommends all providers demonstrate progress toward that goal. Guidance on the mandate has been developed by MDH to support adoption of interoperability.

Minnesota E-Health Initiative is a public-private collaborative to accelerate the adoption and use of health information technology in order to improve health care quality, increase patient safety, reduce health care costs and improve public health. MMA serves on the advisory committee to represent the physician perspective and keep MMA membership informed of initiatives. The collaborate hosts an annual e-Health Summit to educate and share lessons learned to enhance health information technology adoption.

Federal Efforts

HITECH Act The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology and allocated significant federal funding to advance health information technology.

Meaningful Use The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ HIT incentive program provides financial support for the implementation and “meaningful use” of EHRs. Final rules outlining the requirements for physicians participating in the Stage 2 incentive program were updated on September 4, 2012. CMS has created a toolkit for eligible providers to help navigate the submission process. AMA has developed a summary of the final requirements. A website for frequently asked questions has been set up by CMS to cover the many aspects of the program. MMA has put together a meaningful use factsheet.

REACH has many webinar recordings to assist in EHR implementation and achieving Meaningful Use. The full list of recordings can be found at 

ONC Certified Health IT Product List(CHPL) The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) maintains the comprehensive listing of certified EHRs. Updated in 2013, the CHPL identifies the EHR products that meet 100% of the requirements for EHR certification criteria. The EHR technology that is certified to the 2011 or 2014 Edition EHR Certification Criteria is necessary for eligible providers to receive incentive payments as part of the demonstration of meaningful use. CMS provides step-by-step guidance on how to navigate the CHPL listing and how to use the information in attesting for meaningful use.

Query-based Health Information Exchange As patients receive medical care from physicians in different locations and practices, particularly when the care is unplanned, sharing of clinical information becomes important. Timely sharing of vital patient information can better inform decision making at the point of care and allow physicians to avoid readmissions, avoid medication errors, improve diagnoses, and decrease duplicative testing. There are different types of health information exchange. Query-based exchange creates the ability of a physician to find information on a patient. In Minnesota the query-based health information exchange is available through Community Health Information Collaborative (CHIC). On a national level it is provided through HealtheWay.

Learn More

MMA Factsheet on Health Information Exchange
Minnesota e-Health Initiative
Regional Extension Assistance Center for HIT (REACH)
AMA's HIT website
HIT Glossary