Quarterly News from your WTxHITREC

In This Issue
CMS Approves CEHRT Revision for 2014
Provider Spotlight - Dr. Angel Rios
Upcoming Webinar - Approved CEHRT Ruling
Telemedicine Questions?
Medicaid Physician Specialist Program
Protect Electronic Health Information
CPOE and CDS to Improve Medication Safety
HIPAA Omnibus Rule and its Effect on BAAs
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Issue: 8
Enjoy your Quarterly News from your West Texas Health IT Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) and please feel free to forward this email to any of your colleagues or interested parties.

Success Continues!

The success of the WTxHITREC continues, as the WTxHITREC has now reached 91% meaningful use attainment by all participating providers on the ONC National Dashboard!  This percentage places the WTxHITREC above all other RECs in Texas and currently places the WTxHITREC at a tie for 10th nationally!
CMS Approves CEHRT Revision for 2014 MU

CMS has approved and released a final rule that allows providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to use the 2011 Edition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for calendar and fiscal year 2014.  View the press release about the final rule.  

CEHRT Flexibility Resources

  • CEHRT Interactive Decision Tool - providers answer a few questions about their current stage of meaningful use and Edition of EHR certification, and the tool displays the corresponding 2014 options.
  • 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Chart - chart provides a visual overview of CEHRT participation options for 2014.
  • 2014 CEHRT Rule Quick Guide - guide provides corresponding resources based on the option a provider chooses to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs in 2014.

Extending Stage 2

The rule also finalizes CMS and ONC's recommended timeline to extend Stage 2 through 2016. The earliest a provider can participate in Stage 3 of meaningful use is now 2017.

Angel M. Rios, MD - WTxHITREC Provider Spotlight

Angel M. Rios, MD, West Texas Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) member and practicing Obstetrics & Gynecology physician in El Paso, TX, has been recognized for his meaningful use (MU) achievement of electronic health records (EHR).  With this recognition, Dr. Rios and his staff have earned the distinction as leaders in health information technology.


Since 1993, Dr. Rios has offered quality medical services through his private practice in El Paso and typically serves patients with a lower-income level with approximately 80% of his patients being Medicaid beneficiaries.  As he continues to dedicate his time to serving patients, he also understands the value of adopting an EHR and the barriers that may come along with the implementation process.


Read More 

Submitted by

Veronica Fernandez

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator

Questions about the approved CEHRT rule for 2014? Register today for a FREE educational webinar!

Educational webinar session provided by the WTxHITREC to discuss flexibility and options for providers and hospitals that are unable to fully implement 2014 edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014.



Friday September 26th, 12:15pm-1:00pm



Flexible Options for Providers and  Hospitals Unable to Attest Due to Delays in 2014 CEHRT Availability



Jeremy Castillo - Regional Coordinator, WTxHITREC




Telemedicine Questions?

WTxHITREC has teamed up with the Telemedicine Department and TexLa TRC to help support the telehealth movement, contact your WTxHITREC to learn more!

Now Enrolling! Medicaid Physician Specialist Program
The Medicaid Physician Specialist Program is federally funded through the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.  With this funding, all costs are covered for eligible physicians and NO FEES will be associated with this program.


Contact the WTxHITREC today at 806-743-7960 to determine your eligibility!

Protect Electronic Health Information


Protect electronic health information; these four words continue to cause frustration and confusion for many health care providers and hospitals operating today.  Starting with Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU), protecting electronic health information was a measure, still a measure with Stage 2 MU, and will most likely always be a measure in the MU program.  To help limit any frustration and/or confusion, please review some of the key components to meeting this measure and achieving MU: 


Read More  

Submitted by 

Terry Alexander

WTxHITREC Director of Critical Access and Rural Hospitals   

CPOE and CDS to Improve Medication Safety

Anticipated results of electronic health record (EHR) adoption include reduced costs and reduction of medical errors.   With widespread adoption of EHRs due to the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, more studies are examining the actual ramifications of EHR implementation.  A particular area of interest is the effect of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) combined with clinical decision support systems (CDS or CDSS) to improve medication safety.


CPOE systems require clinicians to directly place orders for medications, tests, or studies into an EHR and transmit directly to the appropriate recipient responsible for the order.  CPOE is a function included in certified EHR technology (CEHRT) and there is some evidence that CPOE alone can reduce medical errors.  According to one study, processing a drug order through CPOE decreases the likelihood of error on that order by 48%.1

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Submitted by 

Becky Jones, MSN, RN-BC, CPHQ, CHTS-PW  

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator   

The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule and its Effect on Business Associate Agreements

On March 26, 2013, the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule (Final Rule) became effective. It finalizes modifications to the Privacy, Security, and Enforcement rules; expands the definition of Business Associate (BA); requires updates to the Business Associate Agreement (BAA); and changes the breach notification provisions.  The compliance date set for BAAs to comply with the requirements of the Final Rule was September 23, 2013. However, existing BAAs that were entered into on or before January 25, 2013 and meet the requirements that were applicable prior to the Final Rule are considered "grandfathered in" so long as no modifications were made after March 26, 2013. The date in which these "grandfathered" BAAs have to be in compliance is quickly approaching. On September 24, 2014, all BAAs must be in compliance with the Final Rule. Therefore, Covered Entities (CEs) and BAs will need to review all of their existing contracts and make sure that they are in compliance before September 24th of this year.


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Submitted by 

Amanda Schwertner   

WTxHITREC Legal Intern    

Do you have any items you would like to know more about or see in the next newsletter?

If so, please contact the WTxHITREC with any newsletter additions, questions or service needs at 806-743-7960 or info@wtxhitrec.org



Carson Scott, MPA

Director Marketing, Outreach, Education & Communications
WTxHITREC - Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center