The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has amended the Safe Harbor Regulation regarding electronic health record (EHR) items and services. The primary purpose of the amendment is to extend the Safe Harbor, which was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013, until December 31, 2021.

Obviously, congressional hopes that EHR would be fully implemented by 2013 have not panned out as planned. OIG has made a number of additional changes which, according to the summary, are as follows:

  • Updating the definition of interoperability;
  • Removing the electronic prescribing capability requirement;
  • Limiting the scope of protected donors to exclude laboratory companies; and
  •  Clarifying the condition that prohibits a donor from taking action to limit or restrict the use compatibility or interoperability of the donated items or services.

The expiration date of this Safe Harbor has been extended until December 31, 2021. It was originally adopted in August of 2006 and was scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2013; the new sunset period spans 8 years.