AMIA, Pew to Congress: Secure funding for the EHR reporting program

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

The American Medical Informatics Association and The Pew Charitable Trusts penned a letter Dec. 15 to four U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives urging support for the EHR reporting program.

The EHR reporting program was established under Section 4002 of the 21st Century Cures Act. Under the program, EHR developers must submit data on product functionality to enhance transparency around interoperability and usability. The 21st Century Cures Act authorized Congress to provide $15 million in funding to HHS to implement the program.

However, under President Donald Trump's proposed HHS budget released in May, the Trump administration would cut ONC funding from $60 million in 2017 to $38 million by 2018 — a decrease of 37 percent.

When testifying before a Senate committee, ONC Deputy National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Jon White, MD, questioned whether the agency would be able to implement the provision. He indicated "under the current budget proposal, we are expecting to meet all the requirements of the Cures Act with the exception of the EHR reporting program," according to the letter.

To address this concern, AMIA and The Pew Charitable Trusts urged Congress to ensure HHS is allocated appropriate resources to establish a sustainable EHR reporting program.

"The EHR reporting program — coupled with its inclusion as part of the new conditions of certification — will help foster better information on the benefits and shortcomings of different health information technology systems," the letter reads. "Since EHRs are foundational to many other goals of the Cures Act, the timely development and implementation of these programs is paramount."

To access AMIA and The Pew Charitable Trusts' letter, click here.

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