President Obama has signed legislation that changes the definition of "hospital-based physician" in the HITECH Act, paving the way to make many more physicians eligible for incentive payments for the meaningful use of electronic health records.

H.R. 4851's core purpose was to temporarily delay the 21 percent Medicare reimbursement cut to physicians, and to extend unemployment, COBRA and flood insurance benefits through May. The bill also included clarification language that means physicians who primarily practice in hospital-owned ambulatory facilities can qualify for meaningful use incentives. Here's the language:

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