athenahealth among group urging against MU3 delay

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A group of healthcare organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders opposing any delay of the meaningful use program.

The letter, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), says changing the meaningful use program without additional reforms to improving interoperability between IT systems won't do anything to benefit providers.

"Delay without reform would rob taxpayers and patients of cost savings while doing absolutely nothing to make the program work well for overburdened doctors and hospitals," reads the letter.

The letter says meaningful use has failed to achieve its goals of supporting an interoperable IT system that improves care quality and lowers costs. Instead of delaying meaningful use, the organizations that signed the letter call for a reform of the program.

Specifically, the letter suggests concepts to change the law in regards to interoperability, including establishing a common definition of interoperability, adopting industry-developed standards for APIs, testing the interoperability of products and establishing EHR marketplaces providing all relevant data about EHRs to assist in purchasing decisions.

"We have worked constructively with the administration since the [HITECH Act] was passed on ways to improve the program and to facilitate interoperability," the letter reads. "While we have made progress, it is clear to us that the administration will need legislative support to effectively facilitate interoperability."

The letter is signed by the following vendors and healthcare organizations: Apervita, athenahealth, Health IT Now, Intel, National Alliance on Mental Illness, New Directions Technology Consulting, Oracle, United Spinal Association and Verizon.

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