Electronic Medical Records
As a cornerstone of health information technology, the electronic medical record (EMR) is a critical tool for improving patient health and health care delivery through the Patient Centered Medical Home model.
The AAFP has consistently endorsed industry and governmental initiatives designed to assist family physicians in the development and implementation of EMRs and related information technologies while improving patient care. We’ve helped family physicians pursue a wide range of federal and state grant programs that support informatics at the point of care, and we have been strong supporters of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, also known as the Meaningful Use program.
The Meaningful Use program is a six-year, three-stage initiative that relies on financial incentives and penalties to stimulate the “meaningful use” of EHR capabilities by physicians and other providers. The program’s long-term objective is to foster universal health data reporting and connectivity to improve care coordination, disease management, and a host of other clinical processes, as well as to strengthen reporting of patient outcomes data and other public health information.
As meaningful use of EMRs evolves -- and new federal and state initiatives emerge -- AAFP will continue to track these programs closely to ensure that they are grounded in realistic expectations and reflect the practical realities facing the family physician community.
Some of our recent efforts critical to EMRs include:
- Pushing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to delay Stage 3 meaningful use requirements until at least 2017, and to delay or eliminate the program’s penalty provisions;
- Offering support of the Institute of Medicine’s proposal to initiate continuous assessment and improvement studies aimed to improve the quality of health care. THe AAFP provided detailed recommendations regarding the IOM plan with respect to care measurement, clinician training, timelines and potential barriers;
- Providing extensive recommendations regarding proposed changes in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Widespread use of EMR technology promises to transform both the delivery of care and the development of public health initiatives. As HIT implementation progress, the AAFP will continue to serve family physicians by offering practical guidance to health care providers, as well as key recommendations to regulators and policymakers.
- Health Care Research, Quality and HIT 2011 - December 22, 2011(2 page PDF)
- Health Care Research, Quality and HIT 2010 - December 31, 2010(2 page PDF)
- AAFP Letter to CMS and ONC on Increasing Concerns with Expectations of Meaningful Use Stage 2 - August 7, 2013(3 page PDF)
- AAFP Letter to CMS and OIG Regarding Exceptions for Certain Electronic Health Records Arrangements - June 5, 2013(2 page PDF)
- Letter to CMS Regarding Proposed Use of Clinical Quality Measures - April 5, 2013(6 page PDF)
- Response to ONC on Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan - January 30, 2013(5 page PDF)
- Letter to ONC in Response to Request for Comment Regarding the Stage 3 Definition of Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records - January 10, 2013(11 page PDF)
- Letter to the IOM Regarding Their Continuous Assessment and Improvement Study - June 23, 2011(3 page PDF)
- Joint Letter to ONC on HITPC and Meaningful Use of EHRs - February 25, 2011(8 page PDF)
- Letter to IOM's Committee Regarding Patient Safety and Health Information Technology - February 17, 2011(2 page PDF)
- Letter to ONCHIT Regarding PCAST - January 18, 2011(2 page PDF)
- Letter Regarding HIPAA Privacy Rule Accounting of Disclosures Under the HITECH Act - May 14, 2010(4 page PDF)
- Joint Letter to HHS Regarding CMS Proposed Rule on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs - May 3, 2010(7 page PDF)
- Joint Letter Regarding CMS' Proposed Rule on the Medicare-Medicaid EHR Incentive Program - May 3, 2010(7 page PDF)
- Joint Letter to CMS Regarding Upcoming Penalties - March 28, 2010(5 page PDF)
- Joint Letter to CMS Regarding the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program - March 15, 2010(2 page PDF)
- Letter to CMS Regarding Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology - February 26, 2010(8 page PDF)
- Letter to GAO Regarding Nominations to the HIT Policy Committee - March 5, 2009(3 page PDF)
- Letter to Senate Committees of Jurisdiction Regarding Economic Stimulus Legislation - January 26, 2009(3 page PDF)
- Letter to House Committees of Jusisdiction Regarding Economic Stimulus Package - January 21, 2009(3 page PDF)
- Statement Regarding Implementation of the HITECH Act - July 27, 2010(7 page PDF)
- Statement Regarding Legislative Proposals to Reform the SBA's Capital Access Programs - July 20, 2009(4 page PDF)
- Statement Submitted for the Record to the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization and Procurement Concerning HIT and Underserved Areas - November1, 2007(5 page PDF)
- Statement Submitted for the Record to the House Committee on Science and Technology Concerning Health Information Technology - October 10, 2007(3 page PDF)
- House Testimony on EMR Technology - April 6, 2006(4 page PDF)