John Thune has introduced a new legislation called the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Regulatory Relief Act (S. 3173) to provide some relief to hospitals and eligible providers participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program (Better known as Meaningful Use). You can find the legislative text (ie. legalese) and the summary document (ie. readable).
This legislation was written by the “REBOOT members” John Thune (S.D.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Richard Burr (N.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) who previously released a white paper on their Health IT concerns.
Here’s a short summary of what the legislation would do:
- Codify the 90-day reporting period for meaningful use
- Remove the All-or-Nothing approach to Meaningful Use and set a 70% threshold
- Increased flexibility in Hardship Exceptions
If I’m reading the legalese right, it also opens the door for the HHS Secretary to allow a 90 day reporting period for MIPS as well. It’s interesting that it wasn’t highlighted in the summary document.
Regardless, these are all changes that will be welcomed by the healthcare community. What I like most about these proposals is that I don’t think any of them will impact how a hospital or doctor was previously planning to use their EHR. At least it won’t impact care in any sort of adverse way. Doctors will still be using an EHR. However, it will provide some reporting relief and will open the door of meaningful use to organizations that wouldn’t have been able to comply previously. Of course, I’m sure there are a few people out there that will settle for nothing less than a repeal of meaningful use completely. I predict that such a thing will never happen.
What do you think of this proposed legislation? Are they enough? Should they be providing more relief? Will this change your meaningful use plans?