House bill seeks to legally protect providers using EHRs

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U.S. Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Pa., has introduced legislation to offer limited legal protection to Medicare and Medicaid providers who use EHRs.

According to a statement from Marino’s office, HR 3239, the Safeguarding Access For Every Medicare Patient Act, would ensure patient access to Medicare and Medicaid providers; reduce healthcare costs; guarantee incentives to providers to remain in the Medicare and Medicaid programs; and promote participation in health IT.

The bill offers incentives in the form of legal protection to providers who may be reluctant to remain in the Medicare and Medicaid programs due to low reimbursement rates which are constantly being targeted for further reductions, the statement added.

HR 3239 seeks to create a system for reporting potential errors that occur when using EHRs without the threat of that information being used as an admission of guilt. The proposal allows for providers who use EHRs to take remedial measures without having those actions be used to establish guilt; places time limits on the filing of lawsuits; and offers protection against libel and slander lawsuits, the office concluded.