AHA advocates for regulatory flexibility in EHR incentives

The American Hospital Association has submitted a letter to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the committee on finance, and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the committee on finance, reiterating their support for the Electronic Health Record Regulatory Relief Act (S. 3173).

The Electronic Health Record Regulatory Relief Act seeks to provide regulatory flexibility by only requiring hospitals and professionals in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to meet 70 percent of the required metrics to satisfy meaningful use requirements, rather than all of them.

"The AHA has long advocated for the elimination of the 'all-or-nothing approach' to meaningful use of EHRs," AHA wrote. "This is unfair to hospitals that make good faith efforts to comply, may actually comply with a large percentage of the requirements, expend significant resources and funds in doing so, but still fall short."

The legislation would also codify CMS' proposal for a 90-day reporting period for year 2016 and would extend applications for hardship exceptions through 2017. AHA also voiced concerns about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act final rule; although the final rule includes greater flexibility in how physicians are expected to use certified health IT products, AHA says CMS needs to ensure alignment of reporting requirements across all participants.

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