Survey Announced from the ONC for Health Information Technology

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF); Survey and Certification

CMS’ Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently conducting a national phone-based survey. This survey is conducted to better understand the state of health IT use and interoperability among skilled nursing facilities and hospice facilities. ONC’s telephone survey is being conducted by IQVIA, a research firm on behalf of HHS. Many AHCA members will be contacted.  
If you are contacted by IQVIA as part of the survey and asked to participate, we ask that you please take the time to do so. Your responses will help inform future policies to help organizations become more interoperable. 
Per the CMS announcement, interoperability has the potential to improve transitions of care between acute-care and post-acute care facilities. Federal policies, such as the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT Act) of 2014, for example, require assessment data to be standardized and interoperable. This allows for the electronic exchange of data among post-acute care providers and other providers.   
Recently, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published an extensive report titled The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring Our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff. The April 2022 publication included seven recommendations, the seventh being related to HIT in the SNF is listed below. A short fact sheet of all SNF recommendations is available.  

GOAL 7: Adopt health information technology in all nursing homes 

Recommendation 7A: The ONC and CMS should identify a pathway to provide financial incentives to nursing homes for certified electronic health record (EHR) adoption that supports health information exchanges to enhance person-centered longitudinal care. These incentives should be modeled on the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health incentives provided to eligible hospitals and professionals. 

  • ​ONC should ensure that the nursing home program complements the Promoting Interoperability Program; and 
  • ONC should develop appropriate nursing home EHR certification criteria that promote adoption of health information exchange of important clinical data (e.g., admission, discharge, and transfer data). 
Recommendation 7B: In order to measure and report on HIT adoption and interoperability in nursing homes, HHS should: 

  • ​Develop measures for HIT adoption and interoperability, consistent with other health care organizations; 
  • Measure levels of HIT adoption and interoperability on an annual basis and report results in Care Compare; and 
  • Measure and report nursing home staff, resident, and family perceptions of HIT usability.  
Recommendation 7C: CMS and HRSA should provide financial support for the development and ongoing implementation of workforce training, emphasizing core health information technology competencies for nursing home leadership and staff, such as clinical decision support, telehealth, integration of clinical processes, interoperability, and knowledge management in patient care. 

Recommendation 7D: The ONC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality should fund rigorous evaluation studies to explore: 

  • ​The use of HIT to improve nursing home resident outcomes; 
  • Disparities in HIT adoption and use across nursing homes; 
  • Innovative HIT applications for resident care; and 
  • The assessment of clinician, resident, and family perceptions of HIT usability.