Published August 19, 2010
Revised Standards for Electronic Health Records
US Pharm. 2010;35(8):6.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued new rules that will reward physicians and hospitals for the “meaningful use” of electronic health records. Over the next 10 years, health care providers could receive up to $27 billion to computerize medical records. The health care industry has been slow to replace paper records. “Only 20% of doctors and 10% of hospitals use even basic electronic health records,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The new rules are less demanding and significantly reduce proposed requirements that the health care industry had denounced as unrealistic. For example, physicians will be required to transmit 40% of prescriptions electronically, instead of a proposed 75%, to meet the new standards. Starting in 2015, there will be financial penalties under Medicare for not using electronic health records.