Many safety net providers don’t meet a threshold of 30 percent of their patients being covered under Medicaid, so they aren’t able to participate in the Medicaid electronic health records program.

That would change under legislation Sen. John Kerry has introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill, S. 3539 and titled “The Medicaid Information Technology to Enhance Community Health Act of 2012,” would enable such providers to qualify for the Medicaid meaningful use program.

The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to promulgate regulations no later than Jan. 1, 2015, to establish a procedure for the safety net clinics to demonstrate meaningful use. Text of the legislation, referred to the Committee on Finance, is available here.

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