CBO: Bill to ease meaningful use requirements shows no cost hardship

A bill that seeks to eliminate a provision that requires the HHS secretary to create more stringent measures of meaningful use over the years would have no significant financial impact if enacted into law, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis.

The bill (H.R. 3120) amends the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act to remove the mandate that meaningful use standards must become more stringent over time, thereby reducing EHR reporting requirements for physicians and hospitals.

Under current law, some Medicaid providers may be eligible for bonus payments if they achieve meaningful use while some Medicare providers may face penalties if they fail to achieve meaningful use.

"In recent years, the secretary has used a combination of requiring criteria to be more stringent over time and hardship exemptions in a manner that has not significantly affected the number of providers subject to bonus payments or penalties. Based on that history, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3120 would not have a significant effect on the federal budget," reads the CBO analysis.

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