The following federal and state government agencies play a key role in driving the implementation and Meaningful Use of Health IT across the United States in accordance with the HITECH Act.
Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This agency runs Medicare and partners with state governments to administer Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and health insurance portability standards.
CMS defines and manages healthcare standards including Promoting Interoperability (Meaningful Use, MACRA MIPS), administrative simplification standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA); quality standards for long-term care facilities; and clinical laboratory quality standards under Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.
The agency sets standards and drives the implementation and Meaningful Use of EHR and HIE systems across the United States. CMS oversees the HealthCare.gov and CMS.gov websites.
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
ONC was created in 2004 through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the HITECH Act of 2009. ONC is the federal entity charged with the national coordination of adopting, implementing and meaningfully using Health IT and HIE to improve healthcare. ONC is organized within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). To support its purpose, the ONC established 62 Regional Extensions Centers (REC) which were tasked with assisting healthcare providers in the implementation and effective use of EHR systems. MeHI served as the REC for Massachusetts. The ONC runs the HealthIT.gov website.
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS)
EOHHS is a cabinet level state agency that reports to the Governor of Massachusetts and is supervised by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The agency oversees 17 state agencies and is responsible for running the Medicaid program, child welfare, public health, disabilities, veterans’ affairs, and elder affairs. EOHHS is responsible for the implementation and management of the statewide HIE, the Mass HIway. More information can be found on the Mass.gov/eohhs website.
MassHealth is the Massachusetts state agency that runs the state's Medicaid program. Medicaid is a public need-based health insurance program for low- to medium-income residents, with eligibility based on family income.
Masshealth, which is overseen by EOHHS, was also responsible for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program for the Commonwealth. This incentive program stimulated the implementation and Meaningful Use of EHR systems in an effort to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care. MassHealth contracted MeHI to administer the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program for the Commonwealth. This program ended with the completion of program year 2021.