Representative Diane Black (R-TN) introduced the “Electronic Health Record Improvement Act” (H.R. 131) to make some changes related to meaningful use requirements. The provisions of the bill would affect the requirements that would be needed to establish meaningful use.
The bill would:
- Enable eligible professionals in a solo practice or near retirement age to be exempt for three years for Medicare payment penalties for not demonstrating EHR meaningful use
- Enable Medicaid meaningful users to be exempt from payment penalties
- Shorten the EHR reporting period to apply Medicare EHR payment for eligible professionals
- Provide for alternative meaningful use criteria for eligible professionals that utilize EHRs and specialty registry systems
- Make it possible to use specialty registries to help specialists meet quality measures
- Enable rural healthcare providers to be eligible for meaningful use
- Improve EHR meaningful use under Medicare by eligible professionals who practice in ambulatory surgical centers
- Provide for additional exceptions to applying for Medicare adjustment for certain Medicare and hospital-based eligible professionals not demonstrating EHR meaningful use
- Develop an appeal process before penalties are applied
The bill would require that reports be submitted that describe the improvements made in streamlining requirements under Medicare, improvements that certified technology vendors have made in interoperability, the progress that has be made on the adoption of certified EHR technology, how effectively reporting systems are operating, and make recommendations on how to make regulations more interactive with EHR technology.