AMA: Get Rid of "All or Nothing" Attestation Policy for MU

According to the American Medical Association, if the current meaningful use program requirements, deadlines and looming penalties remain unchanged, more physicians will drop out of the program, many physicians will incur financial penalties that will disrupt their practice and their ability to deliver quality care and the future of using collected electronic data to improve care will become uncertain.

Therefore, the AMA advocates, among other changes, removing the "all-or-nothing" approach to attestation and allowing physician practices that meet some of the requirements to attest and receive incentive payments and/or avoid penalties.

In a letter to National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, MD, and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the AMA recommends placing the threshold for attestation (and earning an incentive payment) at 75 percent of a stage's requirements, and allow practices that meet 50 percent of the requirements to avoid financial penalties.  

The AMA would also like to see the idea of "core" requirements abolished and instead have all of a stage's requirements be treated as "menu" requirements to give providers additional flexibility.

"Adding flexibility, both to the threshold required to earn the meaningful use incentives and to avoid the penalties is the single most pressing change needed to ensure physicians can successfully participate in the meaningful use program," according to the letter.

In the letter, the AMA recommends other changes as well, such as refocusing the requirements of each stage; removing requirements that are beyond the control of physicians, such as whether or not patients use the patient portals; and redesigning the electronic health record certification process to focus more on value provided to caregivers.

The letter comes following an announcement by a CMS official that just 50 physicians and four hospitals have attested to meaningful use stage 2.

More Articles on Meaningful Use:

7 Executives on Why They Selected Their Current EHR Vendor
Massachusetts House Passes Revised EHR Requirements for Physicians
CMS: Only 4 Hospitals Have Reached MU2


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