Home > EHR, meaningful use > January 2013 Recap of Federal HIT Policy Developments

January 2013 Recap of Federal HIT Policy Developments

On January 8, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance regarding the optional significant hardship exception that will allow many radiologists to temporarily avoid payment reductions for noncompliance with the EHR Incentive Program (“meaningful use”) beginning in 2015. According to the new guidance, physicians with the primary Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) specialty codes “diagnostic radiology,” “nuclear medicine,” and “interventional radiology” will automatically avoid penalties for noncompliance. Without future legislative intervention, CMS cannot grant a physician the significant hardship exception for more than five total years.

On January 14, The American College of Radiology (ACR) submitted feedback in response to a November 26 request for comments (RFC) from the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s (ONC) HIT Policy Committee regarding ideas for policy recommendations on Stage 3 meaningful use objectives. The HIT Policy Committee will use the lessons learned from the public comments to draft recommendations in mid-2013 for the future CMS and ONC rulemakings related to Stage 3 meaningful use. Both federal agencies will be free to use or not use the recommendations however they see fit while drafting the proposed rules.

On January 16, the ONC HIT Standards Committee convened for its monthly meeting. Of note, the advisors and ONC staff discussed the planned standards work ahead for 2013 which could include discussions about medical imaging standards. The HIT Standards Committee had previously planned to explore this area in 2012, but never got around to it.

On January 17, the ACR Government Relations Department published the December-January 2013 issue of the ACR Advocacy Update, featuring news and information about activities related to legislative, state, and federal affairs topics.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use
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