Health Care Groups Stump for More Meaningful Use Flexibility

Health Care Leaders Lobby for More Meaningful Use Flexibility

A group of health care associations sent a letter to HHS urging the agency to give eligible professionals and hospitals additional flexibility in fiscal year 2015 to upgrade electronic health record systems to meet requirements for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, Clinical Innovation & Technology reports (Walsh, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 9/16).

Letter Details

The letter, which was addressed to HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell, was signed by 16 health care organizations, including the:

  • American Hospital Association;
  • American Medical Association;
  • College of Healthcare Information Management Executives;
  • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society; and
  • Medical Group Management Association (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 9/16).

In the letter, the groups wrote that they were “surprised to learn that flexibilities meant to mitigate 2014 challenges did not also address program misalignment in 2015 and beyond.”

Instead of requiring a full-year of attestation data, the groups argued that HHS should “provide for a shortened, 90-day EHR reporting period in [FY] 2015,” which is set to begin in two weeks (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 9/16).

According to the letter, just 143 hospitals have demonstrated an ability to meet Stage 2 requirements using 2014 Edition CEHRT, representing less than 4% of the hospitals required to be Stage 2-ready within the next two weeks.

The groups wrote, “This additional time is vitally important to ensure that hospitals and physicians continue moving forward with technology to improve patient care.” They added, “By making such changes, HHS would improve patient safety, without compromising momentum towards interoperability and care coordination supported by health IT” (Clinical Innovation & Technology, 9/16).