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The week in Government HIT: April 30, 2010

by Joe Holtschlag, Manager, Government Affairs

Monday, April 26: ONC announced that they will release the NPRM for Privacy and Security in the next few weeks. As with “Meaningful Use," this proposed rule will be available for comment for several weeks, informing the final rule.

Monday, April 26: For those of you who missed HHS CTO (and athenahealth co-founder) Todd Park, here’s a fun video of him talking about the newly announced ‘HHSinnovates’ program with federal CTO Aneesh Chopra. It’s basically an internal effort to improve recognition of innovative ideas within HHS. This country needs some good ideas, so good luck Todd!

Spotlight on: MEGAHIT

The coolest-named project in the federal government, ‘Medical Evidence Gathering through Health IT’ is designed to facilitate the information gathering for Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability benefits program. When a person becomes disabled, they have to submit an application to SSA for benefits. Traditionally, in order to justify the disability benefits, SSA staff spends dozens of hours trying to track down an enrollee’s medical history. This costs SSA money in processing costs, but more importantly it delays benefits that allow patients to get and pay for care. That’s where MEGAHIT comes in. Run through the National Health Information Network (NHIN), MEGAHIT is a processing engine for routing electronic requests for information to electronic health information sources. These messages are automatically processed by the HIE, saving the providers a lot of work and phone calls. It promises to reduce the processing time of claim from up to eight weeks down to mere minutes.

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