HHS Proposed Regulations to Speed the Implementation of E-Prescribing and Electronic Health Records

On October 5, 2005, HHS announced proposed regulations to help speed the implementation of e-prescribing and electronic health records. HHS has indicated that these regulations are "a major step" toward implementing the President Bush's goal of widespread use of electronic medical records. Current federal regulations are one of many hurdles facing health care providers in implementing technology related to electronic health records and e-prescribing programs. The federal physician self-referral law (commonly known as the "Stark Law") and federal anti-kickback statute that are currently in place create barriers that prevent hospitals and health systems from making technology available to community physicians. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has created proposed regulations that would except certain electronic health records programs from self-referral prohibitions of the Stark Law. Similarly, the Office of Inspector General has announced newly-created safe harbors to exempt certain electronic health records programs from enforcement actions under the federal anti-kickback statute. Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted for sixty days following the publication date. For your convenience, below are links to the HHS press release that announces the proposed regulations and the text of the proposed regulations in the Federal Register.

The Proposed Regulation is available at this link.

For additional information about the information in this Antitrust Update, please contact Toby G. Singer, leader of the Health Care Antitrust Practice. 

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