Some Senate and House Republicans have called for a pause in the EHR program, which has spent $15 billion since 2009 to incentivize providers to adopt and use digital medical recordkeeping.
Republicans have called for a suspension of EHR incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 over concerns that include a too-slow move toward interoperability and concerns it would adversely impact providers when Medicare penalties for not fully complying begin in 2015.
The panel reviewed a range of successes and shortcomings associated with the program, which plans to spend $33 billion in provider incentives through 2021. Among the problems have been lags in the provision of Medicare data to providers hoping to use it to improve their patients' care, frequently as part of the CMS' own quality improvement programs.
Dr. Patrick Conway, director for the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, touted his agency's move toward more frequent, monthly data sharing with providers participating in Medicare accountable care organization programs. But Conway agreed to discuss with the committee possible new benchmarks in provider data sharing.
The Senate Finance Committee plans to further review the progress of the incentive program at a hearing next week with providers and vendors.
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