An Overview of Final Regulations Implementing HITECH's Meaningful Use Provisions and Their Implications for Regional Collaboratives

New federal regulations will boost efforts to integrate performance measures into the everyday operations of health care providers, concludes a new analysis from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. New rules implementing the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act will encourage the nationwide adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and create new opportunities to collect and access information for performance measurement and public reporting, the authors say.

The analysis describes the major elements of the EHR incentive programs and their implications for regional health care collaboratives such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations’ Aligning Forces for Quality program. Authors Lara Cartwright-Smith, Jane Hyatt Thorpe, Taylor Burke and Sara Rosenbaum conclude that the implementation of the HITECH Act will make it easier and more advantageous for providers to track measures using EHRs