Last week, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Health Information Technology, titled, Health Information Technology: A Building Block to Quality Health Care. Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Patrick Conway the Chief Medical Officer and Director, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality; and Acting Director, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, testified before the Committee.
Of particular interest to anesthesiology, Senator Pat Robert (R-KS) asked if there are any plans to improve flexibility for anesthesiologists, pathologists and radiologists in the meaningful use program. Dr. Mostashari responded, "We are now hearing about the difficulties they may face as hospital-based users of the hospital-based system in meeting some of those requirements. So we have in Stage 2, in the final rule that CMS promulgated, provided for the opportunity for exceptions for hospitalists, like anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiologists, whose systems are the hospital systems they use."
ASA successfully advocated for the hardship exemption, which was finalized as part of the Stage 2 Final Rule.
Watch the Senate Finance Committee hearing. (The discussion about anesthesiologists and other hospital-based physicians occurs at 1:13:04.)
Learn more about health information technology and electronic health records.