Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder have sent a letter to five hospital associations warning them against using electronic health records to “game” the billing system. First reported in the New York Times, what follows is the letter to the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, Association of Academic Health Centers, Association of American Medical Colleges and National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems:

“As leaders in the health care system, our nation’s hospitals have been at the forefront of adopting electronic health records for use in coordinating care, improving quality, reducing paperwork, and eliminating duplicative tests. Over 55 percent of hospitals have already qualified for incentive payments authorized by Congress to encourage health care providers to adopt and meaningfully use this technology. Used appropriately, electronic health records have the potential to save money and save lives.

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