In his January 20, 2004, State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush announced his plan to ensure that most Americans have electronic health records within 10 years: "By computerizing health records, we can avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs, and improve care." The White House’s website states that the President’s Health Information Technology Plan will address long-standing problems of preventable errors, uneven quality and rising costs in the nation’s health care system. The President’s plan includes adopting health information standards, increasing funding for health information technology demonstration projects, using the federal government’s clout as one of the largest purchasers of health care in the world to create incentives for health care providers to adopt health information technology, and creating a subcabinet level position to provide the national leadership and coordination to achieve the President’s goals. HIT includes electronic medical records, computerized prescribing and ordering of diagnostic tests, clinical decision support tools, and the technology necessary to assure the secure exchange of electronic health information.
This article provides analysis and commentary on the recently proposed anti-kickback safe harbors and Stark Law exceptions for the provision of health information technology and related services (HIT) to referral sources. For a description of the specific provisions of the proposed rules, please see our October 11, 2005 article "CMS and OIG Propose New Stark Law Exceptions and Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors for E-Prescribing and EHRs." By clicking on ‘next page’ below.
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