Ellmers legislation provides relief for healthcare providers

After introducing the Further Flexibility in HIT Reporting and Advancing Interoperability Act (Flex-IT 2), U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) discussed the importance of the legislation on Thursday.

“Today’s legislation is key to supplying health care providers with flexibility and certainty, as they struggle yet again to meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) stringent requirements pertaining to Meaningful Use,” Ellmers said. “This legislation supplies relief by delaying Stage 3 rulemaking until at least 2017 in order to give providers time to breathe and a reprieve from the unfair penalties.”

The Congresswoman explained that only 19 percent of providers have met Stage 2 attestation requirements—a clear sign that physicians, hospitals and health care providers are challenged in meeting CMS’ onerous requirements. The proposed Stage 3 rule is expected to return even higher numbers of failure, creating the need for a period of relief and time to regroup for medical professionals.

“Given this basic fact, I’m uncertain why CMS would continue to push forward with a Stage 3 rule,” Ellmers said. “From my conversations with doctors back home, it is clear they are eager for relief. As a nurse, I can speak to the fact that a patients’ health and safety must be put first. This legislation will ensure that hospitals and providers can effectively share information so they can continue to focus their time and attention to caring for patients.”