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EMR Educate - EMR Regulatory Issues

EMR Regulatory Updates

To stay abreast of the the latest EMR regulatory developments, you can visit this website and subscribe to posts within the "Health Information Technology" post category. You will then be notified automatically of new developments as they occur.

Lots of Confusion Initially

When the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was passed in February 2009, a lot of uncertainty was associated with the Act's Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) provisions, including the EMR adoption incentives. It was clear that lots of monetary incentives would be handed out, but strings would be attached to those dollars. EMR system "certification" was at issue, as well as physicians' "meaninguful use" of EMR systems. After lots of debate and several rounds of rulemaking, a measure of certainty has entered the picture.

Regulatory Dust Has Settled

We know now that CCHIT will no longer be the exclusive (and expensive) certifying body for EMR systems. Additional certifying bodies have been authorized, and the certification process has been simplified. More EMR systems will get certified over time, increasing competition within the EMR system market segment. EMR systems that were previously certified by CCHIT will be "grandfathered" for two years, and new certifications and re-certifications are taking place presently. Further, we know now that "meaningful use" criteria will be very easy to satisfy initially (during the first two ARRA annual incentive periods), with the requirements becoming somewhat more stringent over time.

What This Means for You

Regulatory issues should no longer delay your implementation of an EMR system. In fact, with all of the planning, sourcing, selection and other steps required, you should start your EMR system acquisition process now. If you want to take full advantange of the ARRA EMR incentives, you'll need to start using your new EMR system in 2011 (or prior).

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