Minn. Passes Bill To Exempt Solo Practitioners From EHR Requirement
May 26, 2015 in News
Minnesota lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow some private practice providers to opt out of a state requirement to install and implement an electronic health record system by the beginning of this year, EHR Intelligence reports (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 5/21).
In 2007, Minnesota enacted legislation that requires all health care providers in the state to implement a certified EHR system by January 1, 2015 (Minn. Department of Health, 5/13). EHR systems adopted by Minnesota providers are required to be interoperable and connect to a state government-approved health information organization.
According to EHR Intelligence, Minnesota is the only state in the U.S. to require all providers to adopt EHRs. Eligible professionals in other states are able to opt out of a federal EHR incentive program by paying a penalty under the meaningful use program.
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHRs can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services policy omnibus bill included a provision that would amend the mandate to exempt cash providers and solo practitioners from EHR adoption in the state (EHR Intelligence, 5/21).
In a statement, Twila Brase, president and co-founder of the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, which crafted the amendment, said that the bill would “allow small clinics and practices to continue to serve patients” and “allow single doctor’s offices to keep their doors open, rather than be forced to join a big practice.”
She added, “Many small clinics and practices cannot afford the cost of the EHR system, and many practices do not want to make their patients’ data accessible online” (CCHF release, 5/21).