Senators Call on HHS to Extend Deadline for Stage 2 of Electronic Health Records Incentive Program

John Thune
John Thune

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, were joined today by several of their colleagues in sending a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, calling for a one-year extension for health care providers to complete the second stage of the electronic health records (EHR) incentive program, which is increasing the adoption of health information technology by hospitals and physicians across the country.

Lamar Alexander
Lamar Alexander

According a release, “providers who are ready to attest to Stage 2 in 2014 should be able to do so consistent with current policy, and the senators believe the administration must continue to push for interoperability.”

By the end of 2014, more than 500,000 hospitals and physicians will be required to upgrade their existing technology to demonstrate new standards of “meaningful use” to be eligible for the corresponding incentive payments.

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Send Money Now: HHS’ Sebelius’ Request for Funds to Support Obamacare Compared to Iran-Contra Scandal

Sebelius

Health and Human Services recently admitted that Secretary Kathleen Sebelius solicited private support for the implementation of Obamacare programs including Enroll America, a nonprofit group devoted to expanding access that a former Obama administration staffer runs. According to Politico and other sources, HHS says there’s no problem with her actions.

According to the report, Sebelius sought donations from healthcare companies for a group working to encourage more people to enroll in Obamacare programs. Several key leaders, primarily Republicans, say Sebelius is showing disregard for constitutional principles and may violate the Antideficiency Act — the prohibition against augmenting congressional appropriations, and executive branch ethics laws.

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