Medical Association Objects To EHR Rules

The Medical Group Management Association says expanding HIPAA disclosure requirements is burdensome and will hurt electronic health record adoption.
To further demonstrate the difficulties that the expansion of disclosures will bring, MGMA conducted an online survey among its members, who include more than 360 practice administrators representing more than 7,000 physicians.

The results showed that 81% of respondents said that if their practice was asked to produce a PHI disclosure accounting report for TPO, the cost, staff training, and computer upgrades would be burdensome.

Additionally, 74% of those surveyed said that providing an accounting report for three years of patient data would be extremely or very burdensome. Further, over the past 12 months, 91% said that they had received 10 or fewer requests from patients for an accounting of disclosures, with 69% stating that they had not received any requests.

According to Jessee, MGMA's research suggests that if physician practices are required to provide TPO disclosures, "it would most likely require costly new software, additional staff, and also force the practice to manually track much of this information."

The letter highlighted the following five key issues and concerns:

  • Administrative burden on physician practices;

  • Low volume of current patient requests for accounting reports;

  • Accounting for treatment disclosures is burdensome and unnecessary;

  • Accounting for payment and healthcare operations disclosures is burdensome and unnecessary; and

  • Discouragement for physician-practice adoption of EHRs.

The MGMA's letter was in response to the "HIPAA Privacy Rule Accounting of Disclosures Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act; Request for Information," which was published in the May 3 Federal Register.

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