America’s Essential Hospitals joined seven other hospital associations in calling on federal officials to quickly finalize provisions of a proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs that would ease requirements for meaningful use of EHRs.

In the letter, the associations encouraged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to finalize a 90-day meaningful use reporting period for 2015. But the associations said the delay to a final rule has made some proposed provisions impossible to implement, including mandatory electronic prescribing of discharge medications and new public health reporting measures. Making these provisions final now could lead to failure to meet meaningful use requirements and significant financial penalties for hospitals. The associations also asked for immediate clarity on whether hospitals will report on a fiscal year (as is the current practice) or on a calendar year, as proposed in the rule.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Beth Feldpush, DrPH, senior vice president of policy and advocacy, at bfeldpush@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0111.