Committee focuses on healthcare disparities

July 1, 2010

On June 4, the Health Information Technology Policy Committee's meaningful use workgroup gave testimony on how to include in the definition of "meaningful use" measures that could reduce racial, ethnic or any other disparities in the health of patients.

On June 4, the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee's meaningful use workgroup gave testimony on how to include in the definition of "meaningful use" measures that could reduce racial, ethnic, or any other disparities in the health of patients.

To be eligible to receive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) incentive programs, healthcare providers must be able to demonstrate meaningful use of their certified electronic health record (EHR) system. The first stage of the proposed meaningful use requirements will have providers collect data on their patients' race, ethnicity, and language and generate reports covering these areas by 2011.

Speakers suggested that reducing healthcare disparities could be included in the quality measures that providers report in order to qualify for meaningful use incentive payments.