Statement from Thomas A. Leary, MALA, CAE, FHIMSS
Vice President, Government Relations
HIMSS is pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the HHS Office of the Inspector General have promulgated extensions to the Stark exemptions and anti-kickback safe harbors for electronic health records through 2021. We also appreciate the government's decision to use a deeming process “for certification to ensure coordination between this program and the Existing ONC Certification Program."
To ensure the continued advancement of meaningful use of certified EHR technology and allow for better care coordination and information sharing among clinical providers, treatment facilities and patients, HIMSS has historically supported making permanent and expanding the Stark exemptions and anti-kickback safe harbors beyond software and services used predominantly for EHRs; they should include software and services used for care coordination, quality of measurement, improving population health, or improving the quality or efficiency of health care delivery among parties. Although we encourage the elimination of the sunset provision, we appreciate the extension of the program to 2021 to provide certainty to stakeholders.