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    Proposed EHR rule offers ‘breathing room’

    Measure gives some participants additional year in MU Stage 2

    Bob GattyBob Gatty Bob Gatty, a former
    congressional aide, covers news from Washington
    for Urology Times.

    WashingtonThe dog days of summer have descended on Washington, with typical heat, humidity, and the doldrums when it comes to hot political activity. In August, Congress takes a month-long break and in the federal agencies, many bureaucrats head for the beach or, at least, the hills.

    Nevertheless, there are important developments percolating here that can have an impact on urology practices.

    Related - AUA pushes for USPSTF reform, coverage for PSA

    One such action involves an attempt by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide more flexibility for providers in how they use certified EHR technology to meet meaningful use requirements and be eligible for program payments.

    Another involves the FDA’s revised “Guidance for Industry: Distributing Scientific and Medical Publications on Unapproved New Uses—Recommended Practices.” Those guidelines can affect physicians who seek to use drug products or medical devices off label, according to their best judgment.

    AUA addresses proposed rule

    In late May, CMS published its proposed EHR rule designed to provide a little breathing room. On June 17, in a “Policy & Advocacy Brief,” the AUA made note of this, saying that CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology “acknowledge the difficulty that some eligible health care providers have had in updating their EHR software to comply with standards originally required for the second stage of meaningful use.”

    Under the proposed rule, eligible professionals may continue to use software certified under 2011 standards for the 2014 reporting period. If finalized, the AUA noted that the proposed rule would allow meaningful use participants who began their attestations in 2011 or 2012 an additional year under Stage 2, rather than having to meet more stringent Stage 3 standards following 2 years of Stage 2 attestations.

    The AUA said it intended to submit comments in support of the proposed rule. The comments were due by mid-July.


    Next: New FDA off-label guidance


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    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.


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