Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said last week that the delay will be one of several recommendations his committee will make to the administration about EHR regulation.
The American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association have sought a delay in Stage 3 rules, which aim to expand sharing of patient records between providers. The rules are due to go into effect in 2017.
Other recommendations the Senate committee is likely to make to the Obama administration will cover standards clarifying that patients own their own health data; interoperability; heightened security requirements for patient data; and more user-friendly EHR systems, Alexander said.
If legislation is ultimately needed to get those recommendations implemented, they likely would be rolled into the Senate version of the House's 21st Century Cures Act legislation. Alexander said he expects the Senate version to be drafted and voted on early next year.
In March, the CMS issued proposed rules for Stage 3. This final stage requires providers to send electronic summaries for 50% of patients they refer to other providers, receive summaries for 40% of patients who are referred to them, and reconcile past patient data with current reports for 80% of such patients.