Healthcare Associations Urge CMS to Slow Stage 3 Meaningful Use Plans

The American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives have all submitted comments on the stage 3 meaningful use recommendations, asking CMS, ONC at HHS and the Health Information Technology Policy Committee to externally evaluate the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs.

Proposed stage 3 meaningful use requirements were submitted to ONC in November by the federally chartered Health IT Policy Committee.

According to a letter written by the AHA, the association believes an external study of progress toward meaningful use is necessary due to the large majority of hospitals and physicians that have yet to attest to meaningful use more than two years into the programs, according to an AHA News Now report.

"We urge the HITPC to refrain from finalizing stage 3 recommendations until it has reviewed the results of such an evaluation and can develop an implementation plan for stage 3 that addresses the issues raised in stage 1," AHA wrote.

In its own letter, the American Medical Association expressed concern with the lack of comprehensive evaluation of the program and its speedy approach despite unresolved barriers, including health information technology infrastructure flaws.

According to a Government Health IT report, CHIIME also submitted comments calling on ONC to reconsider the speed and scale for achieving stage 3 objectives, asking ONC to thoroughly evaluate what has been accomplished in the program thus far.

The AHA also urged the committee to focus on its mandate to make recommendations for a nationwide health IT infrastructure. "Addressing the current limits to interoperability will bring far greater benefits than rushing into a definition for Stage 3 that is not built on lessons learned from Stage 1, let alone Stage 2," AHA wrote.

More Articles on Meaningful Use Objectives:

ONC Opens Comment Period for Meaningful Use Stage 3
Meaningful Use Measures Available on Online Database
21% More Physicians Adopting EHRs to Meet Meaningful Use

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