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Friday, December 6, 2013


I said it earlier, I'll say it again: Only ONC could figure out how to extend timelines and move them up at the same time.  This is in reference to the late breaking news article on changes to Meaningful Use deadlines.  Brian Ahier is of course on top of things, but so is Tom Sullivan over at Government Health IT.  The news that Meaningful Use stages are going to be extended to allow for adaptation to feedback is quite welcome in this quarter.  We've heard over and over again that what you cannot measure, you cannot improve.  It seems as if ONC and CMS have figured that out (actually, I'm quite sure they already had, it was Congress who really set the deadlines).

I don't know how this is going to affect reimbursement under the program, but I suspect there will be no change.  After all, the stick is coming, and that's an incentive too.  Also, it would likely take an act of Congress to change the HITECH act, and that doesn't seem any more likely this session than last.

At the same time, now we have the "optional" 2015 criteria to worry about.  Now I understand the rush to press on HQMF, HeD, and CCDA Release 2.0.  Really, though, I somehow wish there could be more transparency around regulatory planning. I'm sure this has been on the inside track for some time.  And that's the worrysome part for me, because instead of having to deal with regulations that would go final in 2016, I now have to deal with regs that are targeted for 2015.

Christmas anyone?  Not at the Office of No Christmas would be my guess.  Ah well.  I guess I have to take the bad with the good.

1 comment:

  1. Keith, this reminds me a bit of the original CCHIT certifications where they proposed the certification criteria for the upcoming year, but also the "roadmap" for years beyond that. In early days of HITSC, I believe John Halamka referred to a "glide path" that would signal the long-term thinking. It seemed that most vendors wanted an opportunity to comment on not just a single year but a multi-year path. The difference in ONC's announcement is that the 2015 certification update won't wait till a later year (like 2017 or beyond) to be implemented in test procedures. But right now it's unclear to me what vendors will have to do or be expected to do as a result of the 2015 criteria. Will they view it as a market imperative that they must meet in time or else be noncompetitive? Or will it truly just be a "signal to the market" that helps vendors better prepare for MU3?