Legislators float 'common sense' solution to ease EHR meaningful use burden

Bipartisan bill would eliminate HITECH Act requirements that HHS make attesting to meaningful use harder to achieve.
By Tom Sullivan
11:28 AM
meaningful use

U.S. Representatives last week introduced bipartisan legislation to ease the burden that the meaningful use EHR incentive program puts on healthcare providers.

The bill, H.R 3120, introduced Friday by Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, is short on paper but sweeping in its intent. Simply put: The proposed legislation strikes sentences from the HITECH Act requiring the HHS Secretary, now Tom Price, MD, to make meaningful use measures increasingly stringent.

“Electronic health records have failed to live up to their promise to improve healthcare delivery for patients. Unfortunately, current law places an arbitrary requirement on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to impose an increasingly stringent burden on physicians’ use of these records systems,” Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation provides a common-sense solution for a burden that negatively impacts both patients and providers, resulting in better care.” 

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, added that the legislation will enable HHS to advance the use of EHRs to both save clinicians time and improve the accuracy of delivering care.

Ohio Republican Rep. Patrick Tiberi, meanwhile, said that easing the burden on providers and streamlining reporting processes under meaningful use will enable doctors to spend more time caring for patients.

“This is an important part in our efforts to transition to a better patient-centered healthcare system,” Tiberi said.

In addition to Burgess, Dingell and Tiberi, California Democrat Rep. Mike Thompson signed the proposed bill. 

Twitter: SullyHIT
Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com

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