On January 14, 2013, ASA urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health IT Policy Committee to ease certain requirements on anesthesiologists through the Stage 3 rulemaking process for the Electronic Health Records Incentive Program. ASA stressed the importance of maintaining the hardship exemption that allows anesthesiologists to avoid the penalties that could result from not being a “meaningful user” of health information technology. ASA had worked with policy makers in support of the exemption that was subsequently granted as part of the Stage 2 Final Rule.
As part of its formal comments, ASA supported the Health IT Policy Committee's recommendation to exclude specialists from the prevention reminder objective and to exclude eligible professionals who do not administer immunizations from the immunization objective. ASA also recommended excluding anesthesiologists from other requirements, including the clinical summary requirement, syndromic surveillance, e-communication with patients and computerized order entry for transfers of care objectives.
ASA expressed support for allowing reporting to a registry as a menu objective. ASA also recommended additional flexibility for physicians who achieve a close percentage of the objectives.
The Health IT Policy Committee is a federal advisory committee that makes recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the EHR Incentive Program. The Committee's recommendation will be especially important as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator consider future rulemaking regarding the EHR Incentive Program. The EHR incentive program is being implemented in 3 stages. Stage 3 is expected to begin in 2016.
Review ASA’s formal comments.
Review the Health IT Policy Committee's Request for Comment.
Review ASA FAQs on EHRs and Meaningful Use.