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Industry Groups Urge Sebelius to Hold Off on MU

Lena J. Weiner, for HealthLeaders Media, February 25, 2014

In a letter citing concerns for patient safety and a lack of vendor support, more than 40 physicians groups and medical associations are urging HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow more time for Meaningful Use attestation.

A coalition of more than 40 physicians groups and medical associations is calling for additional time to meet the goals of the Meaningful Use program. In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Friday, the group asked for "additional time and new flexibility" to implement electronic health record systems.

The letter was released as the 2014 HIMSS conference was about to begin in Orlando, FL.

"We recognize the vital role your department has taken in advancing the adoption of health information technology in the United States and appreciate your willingness to be flexible in extending the start of Stage 3 to 2017," the letter said. "We fear the success of the program is in jeopardy, however, if steps are not taken now to address our shared concerns."

More than 5,000 hospitals and 550,000 eligible professionals must adopt the 2014 standards to meet the threshold of meaningful use criteria in the next seven months. The authors of the letter, which include the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the National Rural Health Association, consider the federal timeline unreasonable, and say that vendors cannot keep pace with provider needs.

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