HELP Committee Passes Patient Centered Care EHR Bill

Sara Heath | EHR Intelligence | February 9, 2016

The Senate Committee on Health, Labor, and Pensions unanimously passes this legislation that will enhance patient-centered care with EHRs.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee legislation on improved EHR use has passed, according to a public statement from the committee. The bill’s passage was unanimous. Earlier this year, the HELP Committee drafted legislation to improve EHR use. This legislation centered primarily on improving physician EHR use, decreasing data blocking, and making health IT patient-centered.

The legislation also reduces physician burden by allowing non-physicians and members of a care team to document on the physician’s behalf. It also creates special certifications for EHRs and health IT for specialists. Efforts to increase transparency are also geared toward physician usability. By establishing a nonbiased EHR rating system, this piece of legislation will help end users obtain information about the technology they are about to use or purchase, specifically in areas such as interoperability, security, and general usability.

This draft legislation was made publically available on January 21, and since then has received comments from several notable industry stakeholders. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s CIO John Halamka, MD, said that this legislation could be the very thing that helps the healthcare industry reform the meaningful use programs...