H. R. 4066
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 16, 2012
Mr. Price of Georgia (for himself and Mr. Kind) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to exclude pathologists from incentive payments and penalties under Medicare and Medicaid relating to the meaningful use of electronic health records.
This Act may be cited as the
Health Information Technology Reform
Congress finds the following:
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, physicians are eligible to receive Federal funding to promote the adoption of electronic health records if meaningful use standards are met.
Beginning in 2015, certain physicians who do not meet such meaningful use standards face penalties in the form of reductions in Medicare payments.
Pathologists and their laboratories have been on the front lines of electronic health information, utilizing computerized Laboratory Information Systems and Anatomic Pathology Information Systems to support the work of analyzing patient specimens and generating test results. These laboratory information systems exchange laboratory and pathology data with electronic health records and enterprise-wide clinical information systems.
Current regulations implementing electronic health record meaningful use standards largely reflect physician office-based practices and thus, are not applicable to the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine. Furthermore, since pathologists use Laboratory Information Systems and Anatomic Pathology Information Systems, maintenance of certain patient health information in a certified electronic health record is not applicable.
This lack of alignment between regulation and pathology practice makes it impossible for pathologists to satisfy meaningful use standards, putting them at risk for payment penalties under Medicare.
Through their role in appropriate test selection and personalized medicine, and with access to the patient’s electronic health record, pathologists can play a key role in furthering Congress’ goals of reducing costs and improving health care quality.
However, imposing payment penalties on pathologists for failing to meet electronic health record meaningful use standards that do not apply to their practice and typical interaction with patients, will not help advance quality care and accountability.
Excluding pathologists from Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments and penalties relating to the meaningful use of electronic health records
Exclusion from penalties
1848(a)(7)(E)(iii) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w–4(a)(7)(E)(iii))
is amended by inserting
, except such term does not include a
pathologist, as identified by enrollment under this title with a specialty code
of 22 or 69 after
Exclusion from incentive payments
1848(o)(5)(C) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w–4(o)(5)(C)) is amended by inserting
, except such term does not include a pathologist, as identified by
enrollment under this title with a specialty code of 22 or 69 after
1903(t)(3)(B)(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396b(t)(3)(B)(i)) is
amended by inserting
other than a pathologist, as identified by
enrollment under title XVIII with a specialty code of 22 or 69 or by the
applicable equivalent State identification number for pathology or independent