(a) General requirements. An issuer may include as activities that improve health care quality such Health Information Technology (HIT) expenses as are required to accomplish the activities allowed in § 158.150 of this subpart and that are designed for use by health plans, health care providers, or enrollees for the electronic creation, maintenance, access, or exchange of health information, as well as those consistent with Medicare and/or Medicaid meaningful use requirements, and which may in whole or in part improve quality of care, or provide the technological infrastructure to enhance current quality improvement or make new quality improvement initiatives possible by doing one or more of the following:
(1) Making incentive payments to health care providers for the adoption of certified electronic health record technologies and their “meaningful use” as defined by HHS to the extent such payments are not included in reimbursement for clinical services as defined in § 158.140 of this subpart;
(2) Implementing systems to track and verify the adoption and meaningful use of certified electronic health records technologies by health care providers, including those not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments;
(3) Providing technical assistance to support adoption and meaningful use of certified electronic health records technologies;
(4) Monitoring, measuring, or reporting clinical effectiveness including reporting and analysis of costs related to maintaining accreditation by nationally recognized accrediting organizations such as NCQA or URAC, or costs for public reporting of quality of care, including costs specifically required to make accurate determinations of defined measures (for example, CAHPS surveys or chart review of HEDIS measures and costs for public reporting mandated or encouraged by law.
(5) Tracking whether a specific class of medical interventions or a bundle of related services leads to better patient outcomes.
(6) Advancing the ability of enrollees, providers, issuers or other systems to communicate patient centered clinical or medical information rapidly, accurately and efficiently to determine patient status, avoid harmful drug interactions or direct appropriate care, which may include electronic Health Records accessible by enrollees and appropriate providers to monitor and document an individual patient's medical history and to support care management.
(7) Reformatting, transmitting or reporting data to national or international government-based health organizations for the purposes of identifying or treating specific conditions or controlling the spread of disease.
(8) Provision of electronic health records, patient portals, and tools to facilitate patient self-management.