The ISMA, 97 other state and specialty medical societies and the AMA in formal comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said the proposed meaningful use criteria “will actually discourage physician participation in the meaningful use EHR program rather than encourage it.”
While supporting adoption and use of electronic health records (EHRs), the medical organizations called the proposed criteria “cumbersome” and indicated the new rules would “require extensive manual data entry, which is not an efficient way of practicing medicine or improving quality care outcomes for patients.”
Here are a few of the recommendations in the letter:
- Create more flexibility in meeting measures, including exclusion and relevancy factors
- Delete the high thresholds for new measures and for measures that cannot be met due to the lack of available, affordable, well-tested tools or exchange capabilities
- Incorporate more focus on measures within a physician’s control
- Allow a significant good faith effort to meet measures in Stage 2 to count for incentives and for avoiding penalties
- Eliminate back-dating the meaningful use penalty program and establish a number of exemption categories for hardship cases
- Establish an appeals process under both the meaningful use and e-prescribing programs
Read the letter on the AMA website.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) expressed its own misgiving in a similar letter. Representing 5,000 member hospitals, the AHA said it is “concerned that elements of the proposed rule for Stage 2 would stand in the way of a successful program to support widespread adoption by all hospitals. Find the letter here.
In all, more than 270 separate entities filed comments on the proposed rules.