Health IT

Health information technology (health IT) helps health care professionals manage patient care securely and efficiently through the use of electronic health records (EHRs). Learn more about health IT and access health IT-related tools and resources that enable easier clinical quality reporting and improvement.

About Health IT and EHRs

In 2004, Executive Order 13335 called for the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014. Five years later, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) included the Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act, which provided significant funding for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was charged with creating standards and criteria for certifying EHR technology. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was responsible for incentivizing eligible providers to implement certified EHR systems and demonstrate that they can use them meaningfully to improve the quality, efficiency, and safety of patient care through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

The certification and demonstration criteria covered aspects of electronic clinical quality measure reporting, clinical decision support, e-prescribing, recording and charting changes in vital signs, and easily providing patients electronic access to their health information through patient portals and other modes (see the ONC Health IT Playbookexternal icon for information on these topics and more).

Since 2012, Million Hearts® has leveraged and aligned with meaningful use requirements to help achieve the initiative’s goals by streamlining the reporting burden for clinicians and providing useful cardiovascular disease-focused health IT solutions.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) establishes new ways to pay physicians for caring for Medicare beneficiaries. For example, MACRA calls for the creation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) as part of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

MIPS will consolidate components of three existing programs:

  • Medicare EHR Incentive Program for eligible professionals
  • Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)
  • Physician Value-based Payment Modifier (VM)

MIPS will continue the focus on quality, resource use, and use of certified EHR technology in a cohesive program that avoids redundancies. In 2017 and beyond, Million Hearts® will leverage and align with requirements of MIPS including its clinical quality measure reporting and clinical practice improvement activities.

Tools & Resources

Page last reviewed: January 3, 2022