The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule to create a new safe harbor under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute for electronic health records (EHR), including 3 proposed amendments:
1. Update to the provision under which electronic health records software is deemed interoperable 2. Removal of the electronic prescribing capability requirement 3. Extension of the sunset provision
The OIG is also awaiting public comment on other possible amendments to this exemption to limit the scope of protected donors and adding or modifying conditions to limit risk of data and referral lock-in. Costs associated with this rule are not expected to be high, as the principal rule relied on most funding to come from corporations taking advantage of this exception. The OIG also stated that they expect the proposed changes to facilitate the continued adoption of EHR technology. Keep your eyes open for future white papers and newsletters from APS, for updated information. If this rule is not applied, the STARK exception is scheduled to end the last day of 2013.
APS brought a more systematic and complete treatment of our billing, which resulted in a significant improvement in payments.