Tuesday, March 16, 2010

House members urge CMS to revise 'meaningful use' rule

In a letter 249 members of the U.S. House of Representatives strongly urged the CMS to revise its proposed definition and requirements for hospitals to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments as “meaningful users” of certified electronic health record technology.

“The EHR rule goes against the intent of Congress to reward those hospitals that already have taken important steps toward implementing EHR systems and to provide incentives to encourage further development,” the representatives said. “It proposes an ambitious all-or-nothing approach in which hospitals would be required to adopt all 23 separate EHR objectives, or requirements, that very few hospitals have yet been able to accomplish.”

In addition, the House members said, the proposed rule’s narrow definition of an eligible provider would preclude individual campuses of multi-campus hospitals and many physicians that CMS considers “hospital-based” from participating in the incentive program.

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