Final Rules Extend Protections for EHR Donations through 2021

New Analysis Looks at Top EHR Vendors by Meaningful Use AttestationEHR Safe Harbor Extended to 2021

Last April the Obama administration proposed two new rules that would extend protections for hospitals that donate electronic health record (EHR) technology to physicians referring patients to them from December 31, 2013 to 2016. In an exception to the Stark Law, CMS had allowed hospitals to donate EHR software to help encourage physicians to adopt. The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) also issued a “safe harbor” exception, providing protection from Federal anti-kickback enforcement for these EHR donations as long as the physician on the receiving end cover a minimum of 15% of the cost of the software.

On December 27, 2013 final rules were published with a further extension from the proposed 2016 year to the end of 2021, aligning this date with the end of the Medicaid EHR Incentive program.

In the Final Rules CMS and OIG also:

  • Update the various provisions that deem EHR software interoperable
  • Remove e-prescribing requirements from Exception and Safe Harbor
  • Excludes laboratory companies
  • Clarify conditions prohibiting donor use, compatibility or interoperability of donated EHR software or services

You can read each final rule: