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HHS Proposes to Standardize Electronic Health Care Attachments Transactions & Electronic Signature Process


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the following information on Dec. 19.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), on behalf of, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued the proposed rule, “Adoption of Standards for Health Care Attachments Transactions and Electronic Signatures, and Modification to Referral Certification and Authorization Transaction Standard (CMS-0053-P).”

If finalized, the proposed rule, would adopt standards for “health care attachments” transactions, such as medical charts, x-rays, and provider notes that document physician referrals, and office or telemedicine visits. The modifications to the adopted Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) transactions would support both health care claims and prior authorization transactions, standards for electronic signatures to be used in conjunction with health care attachments transactions, and a modification to the standard for the referral certification and authorization transaction. 

The proposed rule estimates a savings of $454 million annually in administrative costs and is a part of HHS’ and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) ongoing efforts to significantly reduce paperwork burdens and empower health care providers to focus on direct patient care and streamline the care experience for patients and providers.

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