Federal report shows that e-prescribing standards are confusing to healthcare providers

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A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that many providers are confused about incentive payment with regards to electronic health records and e-prescribing, Fierce EMR reports.

GAO officials found similarities and differences in the technology and reporting standards for both programs. They added that electronic health records (EHRs) provides incentives for adopting the technology from 2011 to 2016 and penalizes healthcare providers who do not use the technology by 2015.

Likewise, healthcare providers can receive federal funding if they implement an e-prescribing program between 2009 and 2013. However, penalties for non-use can occur between 2012 and 2014. The technology does not have a certification requirement like EHRs do, which translates into providers not knowing whether or not their investments will meet the standards that have been set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Officials recommended that the CMS could develop a risk-based strategy to audit a sample of providers who received federal funding from the e-prescribing program to determine whether they are meeting requirements.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly 35,000 new employment opportunities in the health information management field are expected to become available over the next seven years.