D'Arcy Gue

New ONC Acting Deputy, Declining Medical Errors, ICD-10 Deadline Divide

December 5, 2014

Healthcare Industry, ICD-10, IT Project Management 2 Minute Read

New acting deputy national coordinator is named. 

Jon White, M.D. has been named the acting deputy national coordinator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). In this role, White will oversee the daily activities of the ONC. He will also manage senior staff and provide oversight of all ONC office activity.

White, is moving to the ONC from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. His role at that organization was the director of the Division of Health IT. ONC does plan to identify a permanent person to take over this position.

Medical errors are declining according to HHS.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a report this week illustrating the improvements realized as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. Some of the improvements include:

  • Approximately 50,000 lives saved
  • Healthcare avoided $12 billion in spending
  • 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over a three-year period

HHS attributes these improvements to provisions of the Affordable Care Act such as Medicare payment incentives and the HHS Partnership for Patients initiative.

Organizations divided on another ICD-10 delay.

There are rumblings of another potential delay to the ICD-10 deadline. According to an article in the Journal of the American Health Information Management Association, it’s possible that a delay could be attached to an amendment to a $157 billion fiscal 2015 spending bill for the departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services that expires on December 11. Also possible is that the deal would be attached to a sustainable growth rate path, similar to the most recent delay.

Several organizations are collectively urging House Speaker John Boehner to delay the implementation of the code set by two years. In response, AHIMA and the Coalition for ICD-10 are lobbying to uphold the existing deadline.

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