HHS has sent its final meaningful-use rules and certification criteria for electronic health-record system testing to the Office of Management and Budget—typically one of the last bureaucratic hurdles before rules are released. The criteria are called for under the EHR subsidy program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
HHS sends final meaningful-use rules to OMB for review
OMB received a copy of the final rule of the “meaningful use” criteria from the CMS Monday, according to the posting on the website of its Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
The White House budget authority also received a copy of the final rule on an initial set of standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria from HHS on July 2.
Under the Medicare provisions of the stimulus law, to receive an estimated $14 billion to $27 billion in federal subsidies for EHR purchases, hospitals and qualifying office-based physicians must use certified EHRs in a “meaningful manner.”
Robert Tennant, the Washington, D.C.-based senior policy adviser to the Medical Group Management Association, Englewood, Colo., said he expects a quick turnaround on both rules.
“By law, they have 90 days in which to review, but I think in all practicality, OMB has been involved in the drafting of the final rules, so it's no surprise when they get them,” Tennant said.
OMB has had HHS' controversial final rule on the federal requirement on public and patient notification in the event of a breach of personally identifiable health information since May 15. Tennant said he expects both recently submitted rules to be released in a week or so, possibly even later this week.
Tennant also said a proposed healthcare IT privacy rule just left the OMB review list, so “it should be published in the next couple of days.”
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