CMS states that the Health Information Exchange (HIE) initiatives are designed to encourage HIE among all health care providers, including … those who are not eligible for the EHR Incentive programs (this includes Home Health).  This is in general a very good idea and concept and one that will eventually come to pass.  However, there is a bias in this area (as in many others) that favor the doctors and hospitals; in part rightly because they do have much larger capital-expenditure requirements, but also negatively with bias as in this area as the patient information for/from home health is no less relevant than that of any other sector of health care.

There is no proposed requirement with this subject of the proposed rule, but I think that you can take it to mean that a future regulation will be put forth in the next 12-24 months requiring capital expenditures to accelerate HIE in the home health arena!


Question:  How does an initiative encourage those not eligible for the incentive payments to participate?

Will this not mean an increase in costs?


Why is home health still considered ineligible for HIE incentive programs?

*  *  I believe the hospitals receive these incentives

*  *  I believe the Doc’s receive these incentives

But then again, they get the lion’s share of everything Medicare to begin with!  They are widely represented in Congress & in MedPac and one must wonder whether that has a lot to do with their getting these incentives and HHAs being grouped with those that are not eligible.

The home health industry needs to be made eligible for these incentives to level the playing field; that is, unless there is an incentive to not have a level playing field.