CMS announced today "no later than May 24, 2008, all covered entities are expected to be using the [HIPAA National Provider Identifier] NPI in a compliant manner, and all contingency plans should be lifted."
In other news, the Institute of Medicine released a report recommending that "Congress direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a program with the authority, expertise and resources necessary to set priorities for evaluating clinical services and to conduct systematic reviews of the evidence. The program would also develop and promote rigorous standards for creating clinical practice guidelines, which could help minimize use of questionable services and target services to the patients most likely to benefit. " AHIP, the health plan trade association, endorsed the IOM recommendation.
According to Healthcare IT News, Wal-Mart's CEO announced yesterday that "We will partner with doctors and other providers to increase the number of electronic prescriptions in the U.S. And, we will provide electronic health records to United States associates and their family members - including retirees - by the end of 2010." Wal-Mart's Vice Chairman is a member of the American Health Information Community, an HHS advisory body.