OIG Criticism Of EHR Incentive Program Could Help GOP Target It In Fiscal Cliff Debate
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
HHS Office of Inspector General says CMS is vulnerable to making incentive payments to physicians and hospitals who self-report as meaningful users of electronic health records but may not be meeting requirements. House and Senate Republicans have been examining the incentive program, and this report could help put the program on the chopping block as Congress looks for cuts amid the fiscal cliff debate.
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Hinting that the electronic health record incentive program is not resulting in quick-enough adoption of interoperable systems, HHS asks for suggestions on how to speed up the process of making EHRs interoperable, as well as to get providers to utilize health information exchange.
GOP leaders of the Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means committees ask CMS to halt incentive payments for meaningful use of electronic health records until true interoperable standards are developed and the criteria for demonstrating meaningful use are strengthened.
Researchers looking to use electronic health records may have to wait a bit longer before EHRs become a viable tool for comparative effectiveness research, based on disparities in the location of EHR adoption. A GAO report finds the highest adoption of EHRs in the South and in urban areas.