Legislators Push for EHR Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor Expansion

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Two legislators have called on CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to expand the expiring anti-kickback statute safe harbor for electronic health records to prohibit intentional interoperability limitations.

Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Mike Honda (D-Calif.) advocate expanding the current rules to clearly prohibit limitations or restrictions of interoperability of health IT systems given to physicians or other providers by hospitals.

The letter states: "HHS should also make clear that neither the donor nor donee can take any actions to limit the interoperability of donated health information technology. To this end, HHS should establish a new condition under the exception and safe harbor that clarifies that prohibition against data 'lock-in' and require that any written agreement subject to the exception and safe harbor incorporate this new condition."

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