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Legislators Introduce Bill to Ease Meaningful Use Requirements

July 5, 2017
by Heather Landi
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A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers have introduced legislation designed to ease meaningful use requirements on physicians. Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-Texas) introduced the bill, H.R. 3120, which is titled “To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to reduce the volume of future electronic health record-related significant hardship requests.”

The text of the bill wasn’t available at press time, but according to Politico, “the simple one-paragraph bill (H.R. 3120) eliminates part of a sentence in the 2009 HITECH Act that requires the HHS secretary to create ‘more stringent measures of meaningful use’ over time.”

The bill is sponsored by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Congressman Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA).

In a prepared statement, Burgess said, “Electronic health records place an enormous burden on physicians, and have failed to live up to their promise to improve health care delivery for patients. Unfortunately, current law places an arbitrary requirement on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to impose an increasingly stringent burden on physicians’ use of these records systems. This bipartisan legislation provides a common-sense solution for a burden that negatively impacts both patients and providers, resulting in better care.” 

Rep. Dingell stated, “This legislation represents a commonsense step to ease burdens on medical providers and improve patient care. It will allow HHS to continue to improve the use of electronic medical records, which can save time, improve accuracy and lead to better patient outcomes, without placing an undue burden on those who deliver care.”

“I’m glad to collaborate with my colleagues on this commonsense, bipartisan fix. Electronic health records have great potential to improve care coordination and patient outcomes. This measure will help to ensure that health providers aren’t unduly burdened by reporting measures that don’t improve care quality,” Rep. Thompson said in a statement.


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