Senators propose EHR Regulatory Relief Act to eradicate 'all or nothing' meaningful use

The same six U.S. Senators who previously brought forth a bill to reboot the meaningful use program introduced a new effort Wednesday meant to ease some of its requirements. 
By Tom Sullivan
04:37 PM
EHR Regulatory Relief Act

Senator John Thune, R-South Dakota, and others introduced legislation to bring more flexibility to the meaningful use EHR program. 

Six U.S. Senators have proposed a new bill that would ease reporting requirements, institute a 90-day reporting period and extend hardship exceptions for healthcare providers that cannot attest to the EHR reimbursement incentive program.

"Regulatory flexibility is necessary to help hospitals and medical providers focus on transitioning into the new, patient-focused payment policies created by Congress by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 instead of the ‘check-the-box’ meaningful use program," Senators John Thune (R-SD), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Richard Burr (R-NC), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) wrote in a bill summary.

Specifically in the EHR Regulatory Relief Act, the Senators recommended codifying the previously proposed 90-day reporting period for eligible hospitals and providers to attest for 2016 the way they did last year, removing the burdensome "100 percent-is-passing" approach to meaningful use, retuning the threshold for providers to meet certain criteria from 75 percent to 70 percent of the metrics and, lastly, extending the existing hardship exceptions for 2016 and 2017 to accommodate providers that cannot attest because of insufficient web connectivity, natural disasters, vendor certification issues and so forth.

"Feedback from the hospital and physician community resoundingly indicates that the burdens of compliance with the meaningful use requirements are negatively affecting hospitals and medical providers,” the Senators wrote.  

The same Senators penned legislation to reboot the meaningful use program. 

[Also: GOP Senators issue draft legislation to 'reboot' meaningful use]

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