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National Health IT Week wrap podcast

How and when will the Flex-IT bill pass? What's up the REBOOT senators' sleeves? We have all the intriguing details from National Health IT Week.

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At National Health IT Week, the Flex-IT bill debuted as a coalition of health data leaders led by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) ran an end-around their old friends at ONC and lobbied Congress to change meaningful use reporting rules for 2015.

At the heart of the issue is meaningful use stage 2's 365-day period: In effect, hospitals and physicians must meaningfully use their EHR systems the whole year, not only to get paid federal incentives, but also to avoid CMS penalties for not meaningfully using them. The carrot and stick both come into play.

The CHIME members and leaders who hit Capitol Hill told SearchHealthIT reporters that it will be impossible for many healthcare providers to make that 365-day reporting period, and they're certain many will drop out of the program. The Flex-IT bill would reduce that reporting period to one quarter of 2015, of the provider's choice, and would force CMS to change the incentive program rule.

After working the halls of the U.S. Senate office buildings, the ONC Consumer Engagement Summit and the CHIME mother ship, we have an idea of if, how and when the Flex-IT bill will make its way through Congress. In this podcast, SearchHealthIT's veteran political reporter Shaun Sutner and News Director Don Fluckinger compare and combine their notes in a roundup of National Health IT Week news.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Don Fluckinger, news director or contact @DonFluckinger on Twitter.

Next Steps

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Speech by ONC director starts National Health IT Week

Dig Deeper on HITECH Act and meaningful use requirements

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