The Medical Group Management Association said the CMS' proposed changes to federal antikickback law won't help the government's goal of widespread adoption of health information technology. The comment period ended Monday on the CMS proposal, which would create "safe harbors" allowing certain types of organizations to donate e-prescribing and electronic medical-records technology to physicians. Among other comments, the MGMA said physicians should not be required to certify that donated items are technically different than what they already have because it is difficult to know when items sufficiently differ to meet the standard. The association also asked the CMS to be very cautious about including a cap on the value of items and services provided to a physician by a single donor, saying a cap could deter donations, and to include group practices among the types of organizations that may donate. Read the MGMA's comment letter.
Separately, the Health Information and Management Systems Society recommended that the CMS and HHS' inspector general's office tie their efforts to develop safe harbors to work already under way at HHS in the areas of standards harmonization, certification of IT systems and developing a prototype for a national IT infrastructure. HIMSS also said organizations that subsidize IT systems should be required to offer systems from at least three vendors to "ensure that competitive market pricing is provided." At deadline, a link to the comments was not available.