Readers of my last commentary will be pleased to hear of the very quick response I received from CMS regarding the exclusion of California from the new Electronic Health Record Grant announcement.
Thank you for your inquiry about CMS' new EHR demonstration.
This demonstration is being conducted by Medicare’s Office of Research, Development & Information. The EHR demonstration is one of many demonstrations across the country that the Demonstrations Program Group is conducting to examine ways to improve how care is provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Such initiatives are conducted to inform policy decisions about the Medicare program. Because these are research projects, it is often important not to have multiple demonstrations being conducted in the same area if one project could affect the results of another. In addition, as part of this research, areas where demonstrations are being conducted are often compared to similar areas where there are no special projects going on. When planning new demonstrations, we try to stay away from areas where there are similar existing projects or areas serving as comparison regions for these projects so as not to confound the results of those demonstrations and influence the integrity of the evaluation of these initiatives. Therefore, the list of states and counties excluded from applying to participate as community partners for the EHR demonstration reflect areas where Medicare already has similar projects and evaluations underway.
California is excluded from the EHR demonstration because primary care physicians in that state are already participating in another, similar demonstration: the Medicare Care Management Performance (MCMP) demonstration. This 3-year demonstration began last July and over 200 small to medium-sized primary care practices in the state are participating. Therefore, the decision was made not to implement this new demonstration in California or any of the other states where this or similar demonstrations are being conducted.
If we can answer any other questions for you regarding this demonstration, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Debbie Van Hoven
Project Officers, EHR Demonstration
Medicare Demonstrations Program Group "