Support grows for Flex-IT 2 Act to delay MU3

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) has introduced a bill in Congress that would delay rulemaking for stage 3 of meaningful use until 2017.

The current proposed rules would go into effect in 2018, with providers having the option to begin attesting in 2017. Rep. Ellmers' proposed act, the Further Flexibility in HIT Reporting and Advancing Interoperability Act, would halt the passage of the final MU3 rules until 2017, so they wouldn't go into effect until even later.

In a statement, Rep. Ellmers said too many providers are still struggling with stage 2 attestation to move forward with stage 3. "Only 19 percent of providers have met stage 2 attestation requirements — a clear sign that physicians, hospitals and healthcare providers are challenged in meeting CMS' onerous requirements. Given this basic fact, I'm uncertain why CMS would continue to push forward with a stage 3 rule."

Rep. Ellmers' bill has received support from two prominent healthcare organizations, the American Medical Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

A statement from the AMA highlights concerns of CMS' "ambitious timetable and prescriptive approach."

CHIME said the organization is dedicated to the success of meaningful use but is concerned with addressing clinician dissatisfaction with EHRs and the program itself.

"There is no doubt that the EHR Incentive Payments program has been a vital and successful driver of health IT adoption nationwide, setting the foundation for better population health, improved care delivery and lower costs. However, the ongoing challenges with program implementation must be addressed," according to CHIME's statement.

More articles on meaningful use:

Senate committee pushes to delay MU3
AMA launches 'Break the Red Tape' website for physicians to share concerns with EHRs
11 most interesting developments in health IT this year

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