American College of Physicians Sends MU2 Concerns, Recommendations to HHS

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In a letter to HHS officials, the American College of Physicians expresses concerns over the current timeline for meaningful use stage 2 attestation, and advocates allowing providers to be more creative in achieving the goals of meaningful use without strictly adhering to pre-set requirements.

The letter expresses concerns over the current attestation period for stage 2, especially in light of the small number of vendors with stage 2-ready products. According to the letter, 15 electronic health record systems have the core ambulatory requirements, and only four have been certified for the recommended adult core clinical quality measures. No system has been certified for the full set of meaningful use requirements. "[Eligible providers] should not be penalized for problems with vendor or IT readiness," the letter states.  

The letter also states there has not been sufficient time either for the new e-measures for the CQM reporting process to be tested and validated or for a determination if the output of the EHR systems is an accurate representation of performance. Additionally, the transition to ICD-10 will further complicate data collection requirements.

The ACP recommends more flexible requirements for meaningful use stage 2. "Forcing providers to focus solely on achieving particular scores on a broad range of measures prevents them from implementing the innovations that will lead to the achievement of the actual intended goals of improving care and value," the letter states. "Moving to a partial scoring or tiered system in stage 2, with a higher score required for an incentive and a lower threshold required to avoid a penalty would create a needed element of flexibility to allow practices to choose the measures that matter most to them and dedicate additional time to developing the advanced clinical practices that they will need to achieve improved outcomes."

"ACP supports the guiding principles of meaningful use to help physicians deliver quality, patient-centered care," said Michael S. Barr, MD, a leader of ACP's Division of Medical Practice, in a release about the letter. "However, the reliance on evolving and draft standards, technologies for which integration is not yet completely tested, developing infrastructure and upcoming regulatory requirements add complexity and uncertainty for physicians."

More Articles on Meaningful Use:

ONC: 64% of Hospitals That Achieved MU1 Use a Vendor With MU2-Ready Products
ONC Releases Guidelines for EHR Developers Serving Non-MU Eligible Providers
Hawaii Becomes 50th State to Launch Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

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