U.S. Rep Introduces Legislation to Help ASC Physicians With EHR Requiremets

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U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-Tenn.) introduced the Electronic Health Records Improvement Act this week, which would provide a temporary solution to ASC physicians facing penalties under CMS' EHR incentive program, according to an ASCA report.

CMS' EHR program generally does not affect surgery centers, except in one policy. In order to quality as a "meaningful user" of EHRs and receive incentive payments and avoid penalties, physicians must use "certified" EHRs that meet CMS standards in at least 50 percent of patient encounters. Many ASCs — because they lack the same incentive/subsidy program as hospitals — do not have certified ASCs.

This means that physicians bringing cases to ASCs would be penalized for practicing in the ASC setting. Rep. Black's legislation would create a three-year exception window for those encounters in ASCs, and also re-establish the batching system used by surgery centers to report to CMS.

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