Home > EHR, Medicare > CMS and HHS OIG Publish Final Rules on EHR Exception/Safe Harbor from Self-Referral/Anti-Kickback Requirements

CMS and HHS OIG Publish Final Rules on EHR Exception/Safe Harbor from Self-Referral/Anti-Kickback Requirements

The final rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding the renewal and revision of the EHR exception/safe harbor from self-referral/anti-kickback requirements were published in today’s Federal Register.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) commented on the proposed rules in June 2013 and is currently reviewing the final versions. As a quick overview:

  • The EHR exception and safe harbor were renewed as expected, this time until 2021.
  • Laboratories will not be allowed to donate technology.
  • “Interoperability” will continue to be deemed via certification; however…
  • There are more explicit requirements to support interfacing donated products with competitors’ systems and services.  Some examples:
    • The ability of donated EHR/eRx technology to interface with other types of HIT products (such as RIS) cannot be limited in any way. Before, this requirement was often interpreted as being specific to EHR-to-EHR product connectivity.
    • Donors are not allowed to take any action whatsoever or make any kind of agreement with recipients limiting the donated technology’s ability to interface with competitors.  Any action could be used as evidence of abuse.
    • Donors can no longer charge high fees to interface donated EHRs with competitors’ systems and services.  CMS/OIG will review potential fee abuses on a case-by-case basis.
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Categories: EHR, Medicare

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