MMS Working with State Agencies to Interpret EHR Mandate

The MMS has begun working with several state agencies to develop recommendations on how to interpret and implement a recent state law that seeks to foster the implementation of electronic health records in Massachusetts.

In 2010, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law requiring that, as a condition of licensure starting in 2015, Massachusetts physicians must demonstrate proficiency in the use of electronic health records, computerized order entry, e-prescribing, and other forms of health information technology.

Last year, the Legislature amended that statute to state that physicians must “demonstrate the skills to comply with the ‘meaningful use’ requirements.” There was no further language to explain the intent or scope of that amendment.

The Board of Registration in Medicine is still working on the regulations to specify how physicians would demonstrate such proficiency.

Given that even the most optimistic forecast holds that only 12,000 eligible providers in Massachusetts would achieve Meaningful Use certification by 2015 (more than 30,000 physicians hold a Massachusetts license), the MMS is committed to ensuring that the statute is interpreted broadly, and does not unintentionally disenfranchise thousands of physicians, thereby creating an extreme health care access issue.

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MMS Guide to Health Information Technology

EHR Guide thumbnailWhether you are still considering an EHR, struggling to integrate an  existing one into your practice or looking to take yours to the next level, our informative Committee on Information Technology guide provides best-practices and pitfalls, as well as the implications of mandates such as Meaningful Use, HIPAA compliance and connecting to Health Information Exchanges.

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