Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
This Week's News
This Week's News
AMA to HHS: Make Medicare EHR program more reasonable, achievable
The proposed requirements for Stage 3 of the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program need revisions if physicians are to successfully participate, the AMA told the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a comment letter submitted Monday.
"The AMA shares the administration's goal of widespread EHR adoption and use, but we again stress our continuing concern that the meaningful use program is moving forward without a comprehensive evaluation of previous stages to resolve existing problems," AMA Board Chair Steven J. Stack, MD, said in a news release.
The AMA's 20-page letter discusses the top five issues that must be addressed to make the program a success:
- The program needs an external, independent evaluation process to guide future program stages.
- A 100 percent pass rate is unreasonable. The letter points out that failing to meet a single measure by just one percent would make a physician ineligible for incentives and subject to financial penalties.
- Requirements should be more flexible and structured to accommodate various practice patterns and specialties.
- The EHR certification process needs to address physicians' concerns about usability.
- Health IT infrastructure barriers must be resolved to allow physicians to exchange health information.
"The meaningful use program has helped to jump-start EHR use, but we are still in the early stage of progress due to technological, financial, operational and regulatory challenges," the letter states. "These challenges must be overcome in order to increase physician participation rates and maximize the benefits of this technology for our nation's health care delivery system."