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AMA Looks for Flexibility for Physicians in EHR Meaningful Use

CMS final rule on meaningful use of EHRs out today

For immediate release:
July 13, 2010

Statement attributable to:
Steven J. Stack, MD
Board Member, American Medical Association

“Today CMS released its final rule outlining the meaningful use requirements for physicians using electronic health records (EHRs). The AMA will carefully review the rule to see if the requirements have been reduced to allow more flexibility than the proposed rule, as AMA urged.

“The AMA and 95 state and specialty medical societies submitted formal comments to CMS on an earlier draft of this rule and cautioned that the proposed criteria for meaningful use was too aggressive and would prevent many physicians from participating. The AMA is committed to EHR adoption that streamlines the clinical and business functions of a physician office and helps physicians provide high-quality care to patients. It is critical that barriers to implementation are removed so physicians can successfully adopt new technology.

“After thoroughly reviewing the final rule, the AMA will work to help educate physicians on the requirements for meaningful use and how they can incorporate them in their practices. As a first step, the AMA will be hosting a free webinar on the meaningful use requirements for physicians in the coming weeks.

“Physicians recognize the potential for health IT and want to adopt new technologies, but costly EHR systems are out of reach for many physicians because of low Medicare payments and the prospect of steep cuts in December. Congress needs to repeal the flawed Medicare physician payment formula to help eliminate one major obstacle to physician adoption of new technologies.”

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Media contact:
Lisa Lecas
American Medical Association
312-464-5980
lisa.lecas@ama-assn.org

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