NASL Article Details

Press Release

NASL Statement on ONC Data Brief – EHR Adoption & Health Information Exchange Among SNFs

NASL, 9/13/2017

NASL issued a statement to the press on Friday, September 8, 2017, commenting on the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC’s) release of ONC Data Brief #39, Electronic Health Record Adoption & Interoperability among U.S. Skilled Nursing Facilities in 2016. The data brief was highlighted in a September 7 blogpost by ONC Director of the Office of Planning, Evaluation & Analysis Seth Pazinski entitled, “New Data on Skilled Nursing Facilities Use of Electronic Health Records Establish the Path for Progress.”

NASL Statement on ONC Data Brief – EHR Adoption & Health Information Exchange Among SNFs 

NASL appreciates that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) conducted, for the first time, a nationally representative survey on electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange among skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

We also appreciate ONC’s acknowledgment that – even though LTPAC was not included in the Health Information Technology for Economic & Clinical Health (HITECH) Act – LTPAC providers are major exchange partners of those who were eligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs. We further welcome ONC’s recognition that “EHR adoption and interoperability of SNFs’ health information systems is critical to facilitating transitions of care.”

The survey found that most SNFs (64 %) used EHRs to manage patient health information in 2016. Yet, only 7% were optimally using health IT to send, receive, find and integrate patient health information. While having standards that are granular and constrained enough to facilitate exchange is important, so is encouraging bidirectional and timely exchange of data – especially around transitions of care. Requiring acute care hospitals and other incentivized providers to send information in a timely fashion – so it arrives with, or even before the patient is transferred – as well as to receive patient data from other providers certainly would help to foster greater interoperability.

LTPAC providers serve a vital role in caring for America’s seniors. Improving the adoption and use of health IT should be a priority as we work toward greater interoperability across the care continuum. NASL looks forward to working with ONC on those priorities.

Review ONC blogpost and Data Brief #39.