The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine has finalized regulations that implement a state law requiring physicians to demonstrate proficiency in the use of electronic health records, as well as the skills for achieving meaningful use.

The new regulations establish multiple ways in which physicians would be in compliance with the requirement. According to the regulations, doctors are considered to have demonstrated proficiency if they meet any one of the following conditions:

*Participating in the MU program as an eligible professional

*Having a relationship with a hospital that has been certified as an MU participant. This relationship would be satisfied by any one of the following conditions:

     -Employed by the hospital

     -Credentialed by the hospital to provide patient care

     -Having a “contractual agreement” with the hospital

*Completing at least three hours of accredited CME program on EHRs that, at a minimum, discusses the core and menu set objectives, as well as the clinical quality measures for MU.

*Participating or being an authorized user in the Massachusetts Health Information Highway, the state’s official health information exchange.

The regulations take effect January 2, 2015, but all physicians renewing their licenses before March 31, 2015 will receive a one-time waiver from the requirements. In addition, physicians with renewal dates up to 60 days after March 31, 2015, could submit a renewal application prior to March 31 and be within the window for an automatic waiver. There are also a broad set of exemptions for certain license categories.

Full text of the regulations can be found here.

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