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FEDERAL | ASPS Urges Congress to Ease EHR Burden

Over several consecutive congressional sessions, legislation has been introduced that would lessen the burdensome meaningful use (MU) requirements set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). A group of six senators, led by Senator John Thune (R-SD), has spearheaded the effort during the 115th Congress.

The legislation is in direct response to feedback from the physician community, which has overwhelmingly indicated that MU requirements are negatively affecting medical providers. Specifically, the legislation seeks to remove the all-or-nothing approach to MU and replace it with a new threshold that requires eligible hospitals or eligible providers to meet no more than 70 percent of the required metrics to satisfy MU. Rather than relying on CMS proposed reporting periods, the bill would take decision making away from bureaucrats and codify a 90-day reporting period for reporting year 2016 to ensure that hospitals and eligible providers will be able to attest to 90 days of reporting, as they were able to do in 2015. Additionally, the measure extends current law providing hardship relief to providers for 2016 and 2017. Hardship relief will be available to providers who can demonstrate insufficient internet connectivity, natural disasters, unexpected practice closures, vendor and certification issues, or lack of face-to-face patient interaction.

ASPS submitted written comments to the six senators who cosponsored the legislation and will continue to support this legislation during each step of the legislative process.

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