Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would make the adoption of health information technology a major priority in 2013. The agency also noted that the adoption rate of electronic health record systems tripled to 44 percent over the last three years.

HHS said its goal is to have EHR systems in 50 percent of physician offices by the end of this year and to have 80 percent of hospitals receiving meaningful use incentive payments by that time.

In related news, HHS and CMS have issued a request for information on how to accelerate health information exchange implementation. According to the notice, the administration has suggested that:

  • HHS could develop new e-specified care coordination measures that promote EHRs; and
  • CMS could consider new methods to encourage health information exchange between Medicare accountable care organizations;

HHS also said it will work to enhance the Blue Button initiative that allows veterans to access their EHR online and that it will not delay the October 2014 deadline for adopting ICD-10 diagnostic code sets.