AHA to CMS: Cancel stage 3 of meaningful use

CMS must take action to reduce administrative complexity and address the regulatory burden hospitals face, the American Hospital Association wrote in a June 13 letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

A key imperative the AHA advocated for in its letter was to "cancel" meaningful use stage 3 by removing its 2018 start date. Under the current program, CMS would require all providers to participate in stage 3 in 2018, regardless of prior participation. The AHA said these requirements are not only burdensome, but also force hospitals to spend funds on EHR upgrades "solely for the purpose of meeting regulatory requirements."

"Hospitals face extensive, burdensome and unnecessary 'meaningful use' regulations from CMS that require significant reporting on use of electronic health records (EHRs) with no clear benefit to patient care," the AHA wrote. "These excessive requirements are set to become even more onerous when stage 3 begins in 2018."

AHA also recommended CMS remove select attestations related to data sharing — which the association said went "beyond both statutory intent and the current capability of the technology hospitals have available to them" — and for the agency to expand Medicare coverage of telehealth services.

Click here to view the full letter.

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