Rep. Diane Lynn Black (R-TN) proposes legislation that would amend certain requirements and penalties for the MU program. Some of the provisions in the Electronic Medical Records Improvement Act include:
- An option for certain providers to participate in specialty registries that offer real-time data instead of reporting on nine or more clinical quality measures
- A shortened reporting period for Medicare EHR payment adjustment applications from two years to no more than one year
- An exemption from penalties in years 2015 to 2017 for EPs who are solo physicians or near retirement
- The ability for rural healthcare providers to be defined as EPs and participate in the MU program
- A more formalized appeals process for providers that receive penalties
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Legal experts recommend that physicians pay closer attention to requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as practices shift to EHRs and other computerized tools. To avoid violations and lawsuits, providers must consider whether such tools as online scheduling, bill payment, or Webcasts will accommodate disabled patients and employees.
St. Louis Oncology will implement Benchmark Systems’ practice management system.
More physicians are suing former patients and their relatives over negative ratings and reviews posted on the Internet. Personal blogs, as well as consumer-driven Websites like Angie’s List and Yelp, allow patients to write critical comments about their physicians. Some lawsuits have resulted in patients removing the negative comments; other cases were dismissed because judges ruled that patients’ comments are protected under the First Amendment. Sounds like the real winners here are the attorneys.