U.S. Senate-passed legislation that extends programs and tax incentives that create jobs includes language to expand the types of physicians eligible for meaningful use incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Senate on March 10 in a 62-36 vote passed its version of H.R. 4213, which previously cleared the House.

ARRA's language--and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' proposed meaningful use rule--exclude hospital-based physicians from receiving incentive payments. But many industry stakeholders believed that congressional intent was to include physicians who primarily work in ambulatory care facilities owned by hospitals.

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