Rep. Matsui Joins Rep. Ellmers, Sen. Portman to Introduce Health IT Legislation

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Washington, DC, April 20, 2016 | comments
Rep. Matsui Joins Rep. Ellmers, Sen. Portman to Introduce Health IT Legislation
H.R. 5001 Provides Flexibility for Healthcare Providers and Improves Electronic Health Record Regulations
Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) issued the below statement following introduction of the Flexibility in Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Act in both the House and Senate chambers. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation will provide greater flexibility for health care providers who are working to comply with new health IT reporting requirements. Original co-sponsors of this legislation include Senator Bennet, Dr. Price, Reps. Blackburn, Kind, Rush and Matsui.
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-California)
“The role of technology in the transition to our value-based system of care cannot be understated,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “As we move to a new payment system, we need to ensure that our technology systems enhance providers’ ability to deliver quality care to patients. Our bipartisan legislation will allow providers the flexibility to comply with requirements while preparing for new standards and systems on the horizon. I look forward to continuing to work with providers and patients on finding ways we can advance the use of electronic health records, population health data analytics, and telemedicine in ways that maximize health outcomes for our families.” 
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
“The continued procrastination by CMS to provide relief from the tough and inflexible deadlines within the Meaningful Use Program has prompted myself and Senator Portman to rally our colleagues and take action. Today, I have introduced H.R. 5001 to deliver flexibility to hospitals and doctors facing stiff penalties from unmanageable requirements. 
“As a nurse, I continue to recognize the problems physicians, hospitals and healthcare providers face when working to meet CMS’ stringent Meaningful Use requirements.  While provider participation in this program is important, as it allows for more seamless care of patients, it’s clear that our medical community is eager for relief but that CMS is in no hurry to provide it.”
 “As the author of two previous bills on this subject, Flex-IT and Flex-IT 2, reform of the Meaningful Use program remains a priority of mine. Today’s bipartisan and bicameral legislation is critical to the ongoing conversation about how to best serve patients and supply relief to the provider community.”
Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
“Our hospitals and medical professionals work long, unpredictable hours every day to keep us safe and healthy,” Portman said. “Washington red tape and arbitrary deadlines make their job harder. Our legislation will make it easier to comply with the law, and help them to do their jobs so that patients are provided with the highest quality care.”
Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado)
“High quality health care providers in Colorado and around the country are focused on offering the care that their patients need, and cumbersome government regulations should not detract from that,” Bennet said. “This bipartisan bill will help providers adopt new health IT by cutting red tape and ensuring they can focus their resources on delivering care to patients.”
Dr. Tom Price (R-Georgia)
"This bipartisan, bicameral legislation provides a positive solution to alleviate unnecessary administrative burdens within our health care delivery system. We must work to provide patient-centered health care solutions to ensure patients receive the highest quality care possible. This bill provides much needed relief to ensure that physicians can focus more of their attention on patients, rather than unnecessary, overly burdensome regulatory compliance."
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee)
"For years, I have continued to hear from my local providers and physicians that CMS’ Meaningful Use criteria is meaningless – especially when aiming to provide quality care to patients. Excellent health care is only possible when a working system is in place that provides quality results.”
“Representative Ellmers’ bill allows for a 90-day reporting period and supplies providers with the flexibility to avoid harmful, bureaucratic penalties. This administration has constantly failed to offer patients, and the provider community, with the resources necessary in order to provide quality care.”
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin)
“This commonsense bill will give Wisconsin’s health care providers some much-needed flexibility in dealing with HHS’s unrealistic regulations. By reducing administrative burdens, our providers can streamline their operations and focus on providing the best treatment.”
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois)
“I along with my colleagues work tirelessly in Washington to make our health care system one that supports hospitals and healthcare providers with the right tools and technology to efficiently give quality care. That is why we ask for the implementation of a new system that offer providers a workable time frame to prepare for the transition to the new MACRA requirements.”
Background:
Click hereto read H.R. 5001- the Flexibility in Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Act
The Flexibility in Electronic Health Record (EHR) ReportingAct will allow providers to report their Health IT upgrades in 2016 through a 90-day reporting period as opposed to a full year.  This shortened reporting period would be an important first step in addressing the challenges faced by doctors, hospitals and other medical providers working to comply with the Meaningful Use Program.
By adjusting the timeline, providers would have the option to choose any three-month quarter for the EHR reporting period in 2016 to qualify for Meaningful Use. The additional time and flexibility afforded by these modifications will help hundreds of thousands of providers to meet requirements in an effective and safe manner. This legislation will reinforce investments made to date and will ensure continued momentum towards the goals of the Meaningful Use Program, including enhanced care coordination and interoperability.
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