This “anti-kickback“ provision, along with similar measures designed to keep doctors from referring patients to hospitals in which they have a financial stake, are seen by some as counterproductive in the push toward expensive electronic systems. In response, the federal government has repeatedly implemented safe harbor rules, allowing for certain arrangements that “do not pose a risk of program or patient abuse,” according to a notice describing one of the new proposals.
The two rules – one put forth by the Department of Heath and Human Services’ inspector general and the other crafted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – seek to expand the safe harbor exceptions, and extend their sunset dates.
“We expect these proposed changes to continue to facilitate the adoption of electronic health records technology,” the HHS Inspector General’s proposal says.
Beginning Tuesday, interested parties and members of the public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rules.