Template is at a 'standstill'

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WASHINGTON – A template for power mobility devices is hung up in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and there’s no telling when it will become available.

Although a draft of the template currently exists in PDF form, an electronic version has not been programmed.

“It’s up to the ONC and electronic health record vendors to decide if they want to go through the expense of creating the application,” said Kim Brummett, vice president of regulatory affairs for AAHomecare. “Right now we’re at a standstill.”

The biggest hurdle: financing. 

“It’s a pretty big cost for EHR vendors to program the template (into existing software systems),” said Brummett. 

There’s no timeframe for that to happen either.

“We know it’s in the works, but there’s no driver to complete that sooner rather than later,” said Seth Johnson, vice president of government affairs for Pride Mobility Products. “We continue to do what we can to keep the noise level up with the right individuals, but we have other issues that we’re more focused on relative to the higher-ups in the agency and legislators on Capitol Hill.” 

The template would increase efficiency throughout the entire Medicare system, Johnson says.

“If they have a fairly standardized template, where a computer is able to determine that 90% of the documentation provided identifies the areas necessary for coverage determination, then 90% of those items would not need to have an individual review them,” he said.