Last week, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) joined 19 other medical specialties in endorsing legislation to reform the current federal Electronic Health Record Incentive Program. Among other provisions, the Electronic Health Records Improvements Act, originally introduced by Representative Diane Black (R-TN) during last session of Congress, would exempt anesthesiologists from some of the criteria required to demonstrate meaningful use including: exempting anesthesiologists from providing clinical summaries to patients; exempting anesthesiologists from being required to provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information; and exempting anesthesiologists and other eligible professionals from implementing drug to drug and drug to allergy interaction checks.
The exemptions for anesthesiologists in this legislation, if enacted, would be an important step forward toward improving the EHR Incentive Program.
In August of 2012, CMS released the final rule for Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Program. As a direct result of ASA's advocacy efforts, the final rule created a temporary automatic hardship exemption from the payment penalties for anesthesiologists.
View Rep. Black's legislation.
View ASA's Frequently Asked Questions Document on Meaningful Use.
View the letter ASA signed in support of the bill.