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Senators Urge CMS to Revise 'Meaningful Use' Rule

April 1, 2010
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In a letter sent on April 1, 27 U.S. senators urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Baltimore) to revise its proposed definition and requirements for hospitals to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments as “meaningful users” of certified EHR technology.

The senators said the rule “goes against the intent of Congress to reward those hospitals that already have taken important steps toward implementing EHR systems and to provide incentives to encourage further development.” The rule proposes an all-or-nothing approach in which hospitals would be required to adopt all 23 separate EHR objectives or requirements that very few hospitals have yet been able to accomplish.

Among other concerns, the senators said the proposed definition of a hospital-based physician inappropriately excludes physicians practicing in outpatient centers and clinics from being eligible for EHR incentive payments. The letter was initiated by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

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