Ellmers, Portman lead charge to bring flexibility to healthcare IT reporting requirements

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation on Wednesday to bring flexibility to electronic reporting requirements for healthcare providers.

The Flexibility in Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Act, H.R. 5001, is bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would make it easier for health care providers to comply with Department of Heath and Human Services (HHS) IT reporting requirements.

Ellmers said HHS’s failure to address issues with IT reporting deadlines under the Meaningful Use Program led to her and Portman leading efforts to help doctors and hospitals avoid face stiff penalties and unmanageable expectations.

“As a nurse, I continue to recognize the problems physicians, hospitals and healthcare providers face when working to meet CMS’ stringent Meaningful Use requirements,” Ellmers said. “While provider participation in this program is important, as it allows for more seamless care of patients, it’s clear that our medical community is eager for relief but that CMS is in no hurry to provide it.” 

Under the bill, healthcare providers would be allowed to report IT upgrades made in 2016 during a 90-day reporting period rather than over the course of an entire year. That would allow providers to choose any three-month period for EHR reporting to qualify for the Meaningful Use Program, which is expected to help hundreds of thousands of medical providers meet requirements.

“Our hospitals and medical professionals work long, unpredictable hours every day to keep us safe and healthy,” Portman said. “Washington red tape and arbitrary deadlines make their job harder. Our legislation will make it easier to comply with the law, and help them to do their jobs so that patients are provided with the highest quality care.”

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