TMA to Feds: EHRs Must Talk to Each Other
By David Doolittle


The Texas Medical Association is pushing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to make sharing patient information through electronic health records (EHRs) safer, faster, and cheaper.

 CMS had sought public comment on its proposed rule on the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System, which includes the EHR Incentive Program that has been renamed “Promoting Interoperability.” 

In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, TMA expressed physicians’ serious concerns that EHR vendors will continue to charge high connection and maintenance fees. TMA also called on CMS to require EHR vendors to use common coding language among systems.

“Universal common encoding of all data elements could permit disparate systems to share and consume information much more easily,” the letter says. “Data transferred to a receiving EHR could be correctly understood within the system to give it meaning and make it useful.”

TMA also asked that CMS allow a 90-day reporting period for all of Medicare’s reporting programs, including the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

“In any given year, most organizations experience technical interruptions caused by software upgrades, system changes, and a host of other issues that creates an undue burden when tracking measures for a full calendar year,” the letter says. 

The comment period closed June 25, and a final rule is expected this fall. 

If you have questions about the incentive program, the penalty, or the application, contact TMA’s Health Information Technology Department at hit[at]texmed[dot]org or (800) 880-5720. 

Last Updated On

June 27, 2018

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David Doolittle


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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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