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News in Brief: Week of Oct. 3-7
By News Staff
ONC Launches New Website to Serve Physicians, Patients
The new website offers a dedicated section for physicians and other health care professionals. Visitors to the site can see how their colleagues use health IT to improve patient care, get detailed information about how to make the transition to an EHR, find out how to connect with their local health IT regional extension center and learn about financial incentives.
On the patient and family section of the website, consumers can discover how health IT can lead to safer, more efficient health care, get tips on protecting personal health information and learn how to be more involved in their health care.
HHS Awards Grants to Fight Chronic Disease
According to HHS, these Community Transformation Grants will help states and communities with more than 120 residents tackle the root causes of chronic disease, including smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Grant recipients will use the funds to transform where their residents live, work, play and go to school, making it possible for residents to lead healthier, more productive lives. All of the grantees will address the following priority areas:
- tobacco-free living,
- active living and healthy eating, and
- quality clinical and other preventive services.
Physicians With Heart Aids Former Soviet Republic
Leaders of the AAFP Foundation and Heart to Heart, about 20 volunteers, and representatives of the U.S. State Department are delivering humanitarian aid, participating in a medical symposium focused on family medicine and doing volunteer work during the trip, which concludes Oct. 7.
Physicians With Heart donors provided more than $1.3 million worth of diagnostic instruments and other medical supplies that will be distributed in the former Soviet republic.
Volunteers are posting updates and photos of the trip on the Heart to Heart Facebook page and the AAFP Foundation Facebook page.
HHS Requests Comments on Comparative Effectiveness Research Project
The initiative, known as the Multi-Payer Claims Database Project, represents a private/public partnership that is intended to "consolidate access to longitudinal data on health care services to facilitate comparative effectiveness research," according to a Sept. 23 notice (2-page PDF; About PDFs) in the Federal Register.
HHS, which is responsible for managing the project, will draw data from multiple sources to ensure the project includes adequate coverage of priority patient populations, less common medical conditions, health care interventions and geographic areas. The project will initially include claims data because these data are most readily available. But, in time, additional clinical data from other sources, such as electronic health records, may be incorporated into the database, according to HHS.
The agency is seeking comments on the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection and on ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected. HHS also is seeking comments on the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.
Comments must be e-mailed to the Office of the Secretary's paperwork clearance officer within 60 days.
Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2011-15 Published
The plan was developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, or ONC, in collaboration with other federal partners. It lays out a path by which the federal government can coordinate efforts with the public and private sector to find ways to implement health IT to help improve the quality, efficiency, safety and patient-centeredness of health care in the United States.
The ONC's health IT strategic plan last was updated in 2008.
AAFP Named Official Observer of FSMB
Official observers also may be asked to provide representation on committees or working groups.
The FSMB, which is a nonprofit organization that represents 70 medical and osteopathic boards in the United States and its territories, promotes excellence in medical practice, licensure and regulation.
News in Brief: Week of Oct. 3-7