GAO to CMS: E-prescribing and EHR Programs Need Better Alignment

The United States Government Accountability Office has released a report suggesting CMS' e-prescribing and electronic health records incentive programs have inconsistent requirements, although both programs use similar technology and reporting requirements.

In one such example, GAO reports that the EHR program provides incentives for meaningful use of health IT from 2011-2016 with penalties being introduced in 2015, whereas the e-prescribing program provides incentives from 2009-2013 with penalties being introduced from 2012-2014.

Both programs also have established differing reporting requirements related to e-prescribing, which could place a bigger burden on physicians who are eligible to earn incentive payments from both programs.

GAO has made three recommendations to CMS: Encourage physicians and other providers in the e-prescribing program to adopt certified technology; Expedite efforts to remove overlap in reporting requirements for physicians in both programs; and Identify factors that helped or hindered implementation of the e-prescribing program to help support the ongoing implementation of the EHR program.

Read the GAO report about the e-prescribing and EHR incentive programs (pdf).

Read other coverage about GAO:

- GAO Report Highlights Concern Over Telecommunication Needs of Rural Providers

- GAO Report Finds Integrated Systems Improve Care and Access, but Still Face Challenges

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