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NIH’s ‘All of Us’ electronic health records study now open to everyone over 18

Newswire: May 7, 2018.

Dateline: Washington.

“All of Us,” the precision medicine research program introduced last May by the National Institutes of Health, is now open to all persons 18 and older nationwide. The program’s purpose is to collect electronic health records, and clinical, lifestyle and genomic data from a diverse population of at least one million to further the development of precision medicine.

“If we are to make the biomedical breakthroughs necessary to realize the full promise of precision medicine, researchers need a lot more data that takes into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology,” Francis Collins, the NIH director, wrote in a blog post announcing the development.

“All of Us” began with a beta testing phase in May 2017, seeking data from 10,000 people. Since then, NIH has expanded it, particularly in areas serving under-represented communities in the Deep South and Midwest. At the beginning of the year, it had more than 18,000 participants.

Those who choose to participate in “All of Us” contribute health records over time, either by sharing their electronic health records or by completing surveys, providing blood and urine samples, or contributing data from wearable devices.

Researchers will then use patient data to help deliver breakthroughs faster, including establishing new disease classifications and relationships, discovering biological signs that indicate greater risk, or creating platforms to enable clinical trials of targeted therapies.

The goal of“All of Us” is to reach one million volunteers or more sometime in the next five years. Children will be able to contribute data sometime within the next one to two years. NIH promises that advanced security measures will protect patients’ data and privacy.

Read the full story here.

(front page image of NIH headquarters via Wikipedia)

ESRA Lobbies in Washington

House committee advances five bills pertaining to electronic health records management

Newswire: April 24, 2018.

Dateline: Washington

Five bills affecting electronic health records management in an effort to deal with the nation’s opioid crisis passed a House of Representatives subcommittee on April 24 and will now be heard by the full committee.

The measures advancing in the House are:

  • The Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act of 2018 (H.R. 4841). It improves the process of prior authorization of medications within the Medicare program and is intended to ensure legitimate access to medications while preventing the misuse and abuse of them under prior authorization.
  • ”Jessie’s Law” (H.R. 5009), which clarifies when a patient’s history of opioid abuse is to be included in certain health records.
  • The Access to Telehealth Services for Opioid Use Disorders Act (H.R. 5603), which gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to waive certain Medicare telehealth requirements in cases involving the treatment of an opioid use disorder or a co-occurring mental health disorder.
  • The Improving Access to Remote Behavioral Health Treatment Act of 2018, which amends the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to to clarify the eligibility of community mental health centers to register for practicing telemedicine.
  • And the Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act of 2018 (H.R. 5483), which specifies the circumstances in which a special registration may be issued for someone to practice telemedicine.

In a statment, the executive director of Heath IT Now praised the bills’ movement, calling them “common sense reforms” that theCommittee on Energy and Commerce should pass at once. The committee is led by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

Read the full story here.