Senate passes Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015 — 7 facts

The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association commended Congress today for supporting the Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015. The legislation recently passed through the Senate.

Here are seven facts:

1. US Senators Jonny Isakson and Michael Bennett introduced the legislation.

2. The Electronic Health Fairness Act protects physicians practicing in an ASC from possible penalties under the Medicare meaningful use program until a certified electronic health record technology is available for ASCs.

3. The legislation would authorize the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to certify an EHR system for ASCs.

4. In 2009, Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act to give Medicare providers incentive to adopt and implement EHR systems.

5. ASCs were not eligible for HITECH funds to develop EHR systems for their systems, and no certified EHR is presently available for ASCs.

6. CMS guidance states patient encounters in ASCs should be included to determine whether the 50 percent threshold is met despite there being no CEHRT option available for ASCs.

7. Physicians may opt to bring patients to hospitals as opposed to ASCs due to the guidance if they are concerned they may have their professional fee cut.

More on surgery centers:
6 recent ASC acquisitions & partnerships — Aug. 6, 2015
Disinfected endoscopes might not be so clean: 6 important points
7 things for ASC leaders to know for Thursday — August 6, 2015

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