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Definition of EHRs Confuses Many Healthcare Providers

e-health0620While some consumer-advocate groups endorse the Obama administration’s definition of electronic health records, others say the Health and Human Services Department and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ 556-page document of what constitutes EHRs fails to understand the realities of the challenges healthcare providers face every day, according to NextGov.

Many doctors have voiced their concerns about the proposed meaningful use rule’s complexity, length and lack of comprehension of the realities of the tribulations they face in their day-to-day work, something they expressed in their submitted comments to CMS.

Sharon Fox, executive director of the Children’s Health Alliance, wrote in her comment that “the rules are far too complex and lengthy. . . . It appears to me that there will be more money going to regulate the disbursement of dollars than actually going to provide incentives to physicians to adopt [electronic medical records].”

If adopted, the rules will decide who receives federal incentive payments of up to $44,000 each for doctors and up to $2 million each for hospitals that follow the proposed meaningful use definition when establishing EHR systems. The subsidies are part of the economic stimulus package Congress passed last year, which included about $20 billion for health IT.

Also, if HHS adopts the recommendations, healthcare providers will be required to meet only one of the following standards of recording demographic information as structured data; reporting quality of care measures to the CMS; using a computerized patient order entry system; or generating and transmitting prescriptions electronically.

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