On Monday, the American Hospital Association submitted a formal comment letter recommending that federal officials refine and clarify proposed regulations on the certification of electronic health records, HealthLeaders Media reports.
The comments respond to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's interim final rule on the standards that EHR systems must meet to qualify for "meaningful use" under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Kraynak, HealthLeaders Media, 3/16).
Earlier this month, AHA submitted comments responding to CMS' notice of proposed rulemaking, which describes how health care providers can demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs to qualify for incentive payments (iHealthBeat, 3/10).
In its latest letter, AHA recommended that ONC:
- Clarify responsibilities for health care providers and vendors in the certification of EHRs;
- Extend the timeline for EHR certification and implementation;
- Limit certain EHR certification requirements; and
- Remove certification criteria requiring electronic claims submission and insurance verification (HealthLeaders Media, 3/16).
EHR Vendor Group Comments
Also on Monday, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Electronic Health Record Association submitted comments on both CMS' meaningful use rule and ONC's EHR certification standards.
In its letter to CMS, the association called for federal officials to scale back the required standards for demonstrating meaningful use. The letter also urged CMS to extend the timeline for the rule.
In its letter to ONC, the group said the interim final rule should be more specific and include greater support for certain privacy and security standards (Goedert , Health Data Management, 3/16).
In addition, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives submitted comments on ONC's interim final rule.
CHIME recommended that federal officials finalize EHR certification criteria at least two years before requiring health care providers to use new functionalities (Goedert , Health Data Management, 3/16).