AMA to Congress: EHR Meaningful use is doomed without intervention

Letters sent Monday to U.S. House and U.S. Senate leadership from the AMA and 110 other medical groups and associations aired grievances about meaningful use stage three and warned lawmakers about the "near impossibility of compliance with meaningful and ill-informed bureaucratic requirements" piled on by CMS, according to the AMA.

"Although more than 80 percent of physicians have EHRs in their practices, only 12 percent of physicians have been able to successfully participate in Stage 2 of meaningful use," a statement from the AMA reads. "The statistic speaks volumes about how physicians embrace new technology while ill-conceived regulations hold back progress."

The letters explain new EHR regulations make requirements under the MU3 program even less achievable, diverting physician time from patient care to data entry and filling records with unnecessary documentation unrelated to providing quality care. They also argue MU itself has created data-sharing and information exchange barriers.

"It is unrealistic to expect that doing the same thing over and over again will result in a different outcome," physicians wrote in the letters to House and Senate leadership. "It is time for Congress to act to refocus the meaningful use program on the goal of achieving a truly interoperable system of EHRs that will support, rather than hinder, the delivery of high-quality care."

The AMA is urging physicians to take advantage of the 60-day comment period following the final rule that closes on Dec. 15 and email their respective members of Congress.

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