The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is seeking comment on changes to safe harbor regulations related to electronic health records.

Implementation of electronic health record technology by providers can be exempted from federal anti-kickback statutes. According to the Inspector General, the proposed rule amends the current safe harbor regulations for electronic health records as follows:

  • Make ONC responsible for determining “interoperability.” According to current regulations, electronic health record software must be “interoperable,” and the inspector general recommends that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)  be the body to make that official determination.
  • Remove unnecessary requirement related to electronic prescribing capability.
  • Extend the sunset of the safe harbor from Dec. 31, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2016.

The proposed new regulations can be downloaded here.

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