Payment & Practice Management  |   February 2013
Important Developments on Electronic Health Records
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Practice Management / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Payment & Practice Management
Payment & Practice Management   |   February 2013
Important Developments on Electronic Health Records
ASA Monitor 02 2013, Vol.77, 46-47.
ASA Monitor 02 2013, Vol.77, 46-47.
In the past few months there have been a number of important developments related to the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, both regulatory and legislative. Here is what you should know.
Beginning with the regulatory side, in May 2012, ASA submitted formal comments on the EHR Incentive Program Stage 2 Proposed Rule and urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to create a hardship exemption for anesthesiologists. Subsequently, in September 2012, CMS published the EHR Incentive Program Stage 2 Final Rule. I am pleased to report that as a direct result of ASA’s advocacy efforts, the Stage 2 Final Rule created a temporary hardship exemption for anesthesiologists, pathologists and radiologists from the penalties associated with the EHR Incentive Program. The hardship exemption is an important step forward, considering that these penalties could total up to 5 percent of Medicare allowed charges. The exemption is not yet a permanent fix. The exemption prospect may last up to five years, but CMS could revisit this exemption before then. ASA will continue to advocate that anesthesiologists be exempt from the penalties until the criteria to qualify for the incentives are more broadly applicable to anesthesiologists. ASA understands the value of having EHRs in as many areas of care as possible, particularly in the perioperative setting; however, we remain very concerned that the current requirements for meaningful use have little relevance for anesthesiology practice.
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