The anti-kickback safe harbor concerning electronic health records (EHR) items and services, which defines certain conduct that is protected from liability under the federal anti-kickback statute (Section 1128B(b) of the Social Security Act), was set to expire December 31, 2013. This safe harbor, which allows hospitals to provide physician practices with EHR systems and training to operate them, has been extended through 2021 under new rules from the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG).
The extension is five years longer than HHS proposed in April. The final rules also specifically exclude laboratory companies from the "scope of protected donors," update provisions on interoperability, remove electronic-prescribing requirements and make clear that EHR donors cannot put limits on the use, compatibility and interoperability of their donated items or services.
Read the OIG final rule in full.