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Flex-IT Act Reintroduced, CHIME and Others Pleased

January 13, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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Renee Ellmers Credit: Wikipedia Commons

A piece of proposed legislation that would require the government to establish a shortened reporting period for meaningful use Stage 2 reporting in 2015 is being reintroduced.

The Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015, which was first proposed in September, would allow eligible hospitals and providers that are attesting to meaningful to report for 90-days instead of the required full year. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), author of the original bill, reintroduced it this week with Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ron Kind (D-Wisc.), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and David Scott (D-Ga.).

The move was welcome by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and a long list of industry stakeholder advocacy groups.

"We commend the leadership demonstrated by a bipartisan group of House Members on this critically important issue," CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, said in a statement. "With such across-the-isle support, Congress has underscored how fundamental this program is to the future of healthcare in the U.S.”

The first bill didn’t gain any traction in late 2014, despite significant support from Ellmers. Many, like CHIME, say that if the reporting period isn’t altered, the already-diminishing support for meaningful use will fall of a cliff.

“It’s hard to comprehend how HHS can move forward to full-year reporting when the numbers for 90-day reporting are so low—particularly when noting that half of the physicians in our country are now facing costly fines,” Congresswoman Ellmers said in a statement.

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