CDC Letter Requesting Tracking/Reporting of Tobacco Use & Immunizations, October 2012

As reported by Bloomberg/BNA's Health IT Law and Industry Report (10/29/12), Tom Frieden, director of the CDC wasnts doctors and hospitals to use EMRs to "track and refer tobacco users to public hotlines that offer support to patients working to quit smoking." In Stage 2 of "meaningful use" (MU), doctors and hospitals receive incentive payments if they record the smoking status of more than 80 percent of all patients 13 years or older. Patients may of course refuse to answer the questions or assist in the data collection.  The CDC letter also suggests that EHRs should "automatically retrieve information from immunization registries." Click to read the CDC's letter.

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