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Electronic Health Records News

Payment Incentives for EHR considered by Congress for Ambulatory doctors

Physicians who practice in ambulatory surgery centers are currently not eligible for meaningful use payment incentives because the centers are not covered under the provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009. This act, known as HITECH, created incentives for adopting electronic health record technology in physician offices and hospitals, however, there is no certified EHR technology for these types of centers. Since the CMS defines meaningful use as applying only to medical professionals whose patient encounters happen in locations with 50% or more EHR technology, many physicians are excluded from this benefit. Congress is currently considering legislation that would allow physicians working in ambulatory surgical centers to receive the same payments for meaningful use as other physicians.

Comparison Tool for EHR Software Agreed Upon

A consensus was recently reached by the Certified Technology Comparison Task Force of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) that the agency should create a tool for providers to compare EHR software. The tool would be targeted toward providers who have not yet implemented an EHR program, however some opponents argue that most doctors have no say in the type of EHR software that is chosen.