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Understanding the updated EHR donation rules

InformationWeek, January 10, 2014
We recently learned that hospitals can continue donating most of the cost of electronic health record (EHR) systems, so what do hospital executives need to think about now versus when the rules were first published in 2006? Let's start with a good understanding of the rules themselves -- one from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and a nearly mirror-image rule from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General (OIG). First, the Stark Law (or physician self-referral statute) prohibits a physician from referring services to a hospital (among other entities) with which they have a financial relationship; if a referral is made, the hospital cannot bill Medicare for the service, unless the OIG publishes a specific exception.