- The House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee yesterday approved legislation to remove a requirement from the HITECH Act that increases the stringency of meaningful use standards for EHR use overtime.
The bill is designed specifically “to reduce the volume of future electronic health record-related significant hardship requests.”
The American Hospital Association (AHA) and others have been pushing for the bill’s approval since July.
“Current regulations raise the bar on meaningful use requirements in Stage 3 and will be required beginning Jan. 1, 2018,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in a letter in support of the bill. “These rules contain provisions that are challenging, if not impossible, to meet and require use of immature technology standards.”
The bill was designed to reduce administrative burden on providers and allow hospitals to focus more attention on delivering high-quality patient care rather than meeting federal requirements.
Nickels also applauded changes to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) that modify the meaningful use program allowing physicians increased flexibility surrounding EHR use.
“As these changes are implemented, it will be essential to ensure that program requirements are aligned across all participants, including physicians, hospitals and critical access hospitals,” he stated. “This alignment is critical to ensuring the ability to share health information and improve care coordination among providers across the continuum.”
AHA also stated the most recent inpatient prospective payment system final rule dictates Stage 3 meaningful use will be optional for providers in 2018, but will be mandatory in 2019.