New EHR Proficiency Regulations Now Effective

BY ERICA NOONAN
VITAL SIGNS EDITOR

The Board of Registration in Medicine gave its final approval to new regulations, strongly supported by the MMS, that give physicians many options in how they demonstrate proficiency in the use of electronic medical records.

The new regulations went into effect January 2, but all physicians renewing their licenses before March 31, 2015, will receive a one-time waiver from the requirements. In addition, physicians with renewal dates up to 60 days after March 31 could submit a renewal application prior to March 31, and they will be within the window for an automatic waiver.

The regulations establish multiple ways in which physicians would be in compliance with the requirement. There is also a broad set of exemptions for certain license categories, in which electronic health record use is intrinsic or not relevant. See www.massmed.org/ehr for complete details of the state’s new EHR proficiency requirement and exemptions.

The final regulations were the successful culmination of a two-year effort by the MMS to work with the board to interpret the state legislature’s 2012 law connecting federal Meaningful Use and a Massachusetts medical license in a way that did not disenfranchise thousands of physicians.

“The Massachusetts Medical Society believes that electronic health records have enormous potential for patient care, and the Society’s extensive policy on EMRs declares support for them and a desire to work toward improving them,” said MMS President Richard Pieters, M.D. “We are grateful that the Board of Registration in Medicine has taken a reasonable approach on this issue, exhibiting utmost concerns for patient safety and access to care.”

 

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