Legislation introduced in the U.S. House would increase incentive payments for multi-campus hospitals that demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records.

Bi-partisan sponsors of the Electronic Health Record Incentives for Multi-Campus Hospitals Act of 2010 include the chairs of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees, as well as their health subcommittees.

The final meaningful use rule provides a single incentive payment to multi-campus hospitals, "treating them as if they were only one hospital," says co-sponsor Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-Texas) in a statement. "In reality though, if a hospital has multiple campuses, they will be spending money for HIT implementation at each location. Even after several attempts to get this provision fixed, the rule still ignored the issue, and this bill would finally fix the problem."

The bill would clarify that meaningful use incentives should address incremental acquisition, training and implementation costs when multi-campus hospitals adopt clinical information systems. It offers the choice of two payment approaches that reflect differences between large and small multi-campus systems.

Text of the bill soon will be available at congress.gov. More information is available now at http://go.usa.gov/OJn.

--Joseph Goedert


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