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OIG and CMS Extend Protections for Donated EHRs

January 10, 2014— The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Dec. 27, 2013, issued final rules to permit donations of electronic health record (EHR) items and services to physicians through Dec. 31, 2021.  The rules extend protections, which were set to expire Dec. 31, 2013, from the physician self-referral (CMS) and the anti-kickback (OIG) laws.

In addition to the 2021 extension, the final rules:

  • Exclude laboratory companies as entities that may donate EHRs;
  • Deem software as interoperable if, on the date it is provided to the physician, it has been certified by a certifying body authorized by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to an edition of EHR certification criteria as set forth in ONC regulations;

  • Provide examples to illustrate actions that a donor may not take to limit the use, compatibility, or interoperability of the donated items or services; and

  • Remove the requirement that the EHR have electronic prescribing capabilities.  This is a recognition that this requirement no longer is needed, given the meaningful use incentive program and other legislative initiatives.

Ivy Baer, J.D., M.P.H.
Senior Director and Regulatory Counsel
Telephone: 202-828-0499


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806