Congresswoman Ellmers Introduces Healthcare Bill STEAM Act to Provide Patient Relief and Take Heat Off Health Care ProvidersJune 6 2011
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ellmers released the following statement on the introduction of her first healthcare bill Friday from her office in Washington this morning:
"I am pleased to announce that Friday afternoon I introduced legislation that will create a more effective and efficient process for patients and consumers to get the best quality care available. Stripping The E-prescribe Arbitrary Mandates (STEAM) Act will place the decision-making power back in the hands of doctors and patients."
"As a Registered Nurse for over 21 years and the owner of a small medical practice, I know firsthand the burdensome regulations and inefficiencies that are caused by government overreach. This bill is the first step in addressing these issues so we can protect and prolong our nation's first rate healthcare industry for generations to come."
The Stripping The E-prescribe Arbitrary Mandates (STEAM) Act was introduced by Congresswoman Ellmers on Friday. The bill prevents Medicare fees and penalties to hospitals and doctors that cannot yet e-Prescribe, and removes e-Prescribing as a requirement for fulfilling the "meaningful use" definition of the Electronic Health Records (eHR) program.
In addition, this bill prevents those doctors and hospitals that are already receiving miniscule Medicare payments from facing further payment reductions due to the cumbersome regulations in the eHR program. Many doctors and hospitals are being penalized because they either cannot afford the e-Prescribe system, don't have the technology or internet access to implement e-Prescribe system, or they simply have no need for it and refuse to implement it.
Over the past few years, this has become a major issue because many hospitals had been converting to the eHR software but could not qualify for the incentive due to an arbitrary e-Prescribe mandate. As a result, Doctors and hospitals have been inhibited from gaining full access to the e-Prescribe software due to this inefficient incentive plan. The STEAM Act will still continue to encourage the movement to e-Prescribing and eHR technology by leaving in place the incentives for those doctors and hospitals that want to make the switch.
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For more information, please visit Congresswoman Ellmers’ website at