The Massachusetts House has passed legislation modifying existing state requirements that physicians demonstrate proficiency in electronic health records (EHRs) at the level of meaningful use as a condition of licensure.
Modifying this language has been a major advocacy priority for the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students. The MMS said in a news release that it strongly supports both these initiatives and will encourage the Senate to include similar language in its budget recommendations, expected before Memorial Day weekend.
The House language, contained in the state budget bill passed earlier in May, is designed to prevent disenfranchising more than 10,000 physicians who, by law or other circumstance, cannot achieve meaningful use certification. The Board of Registration in Medicine has released draft regulations that would also modify the current meaningful use requirement.
The House also adopted a budget amendment to modify the timetable for implementation of statewide interoperable health records. The language would postpone the requirement that all healthcare providers implement fully interoperable EHR systems that connect to the statewide health information exchange from 2017 to 2022.