Doctors, Hospitals Score Win On Electronic Records Deadline

Federal health officials are proposing to delay a deadline for the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) in a major victory for doctors and hospitals.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined several ways it will slow down the “Meaningful Use” EHR program in a proposed rule released Tuesday.

The most notable change would mean that healthcare providers can use EHR software that was previously disqualified and still receive incentive payments this year.If finalized, the shift would prevent penalties from hitting doctors and hospitals that fail to move into stage 2 of “Meaningful Use” on time, even if they do not apply for a special exception.

The regulation would also extend stage 2 through 2016, a move that federal health officials had already promised to make.

Obama administration officials said the changes were designed to ease pressure on healthcare providers and maintain momentum in the EHR program.