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AMA News Room

Dec. 17, 2014

AMA Responds to CMS Regarding Meaningful Use Penalties for Eligible Professionals

For immediate release:
Dec. 17, 2014

Statement attributed to:
Steven J. Stack, MD
President Elect, American Medical Association

"The American Medical Association (AMA) is appalled by news from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today that more than 50 percent of eligible professionals will face penalties under the Meaningful Use program in 2015, a number that is even worse than we anticipated.

"The Meaningful Use program was intended to increase physician use of technology to help improve care and efficiency. Unfortunately, the strict set of one-size-fits-all requirements is failing physicians and their patients. They are hindering participation in the program, forcing physicians to purchase expensive electronic health records with poor usability that disrupts workflow, creates significant frustrations and interferes with patient care, and imposes an administrative burden.

"The AMA supported the original HITECH legislation and we have provided extensive and constructive feedback to the Administration to help fix the Meaningful Use program, but few changes have been made. In light of the dismal number of eligible professionals meeting Meaningful Use, we hope that the Administration will now move forward with the solutions we put forth in our Blueprint to make the program more successful and better enable physicians to provide quality care for their patients." 

"The penalties physicians are facing under the Meaningful Use program are part of a regulatory tsunami facing physicians, apart from the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula, that could include cuts from the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value-based Modifier Program (VBM) and the sequester, further destabilizing physician practices and creating a disincentive to see Medicare patients. According to the Administration, only half of eligible physicians participated in PQRS in 2013, meaning many will incur penalties from both the Meaningful Use and PQRS programs.

"The overlapping and often conflicting patchwork of laws and regulations must be fixed and aligned to ensure physicians are able to move to innovative payment and delivery models that could improve the quality of care."

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Media Contact:
Randi Kahn
AMA Media & Editorial
(202) 789-7442
Randi.kahn@ama-assn.org

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