AmSurg Information Technology (IT) Vice Presidents, Eric Thrailkill and Kim Franks, recently traveled to Washington to address gaps in the protection afforded to GI and other physicians in the second phase of Medicare’s electronic health record (EHR) incentive/penalty meaningful use program. It is unclear whether Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will view physician owners of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) as truly lacking control and thus qualifying for the exemption.
The three-prong advocacy effort for Thrailkill and Franks included:
1. Actively educate Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) on the issue (HIMSS is the leading coalition voice on health information technology issues in Washington and very well respected by Congress and CMS).
2. Continue to support the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) on the issue. 3. Educate key Congressional supporters and technical staff at CMS on the unintended consequences of the meaningful use program.