The American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association say they support widespread adoption of electronic health records, but are asking for flexibility to meet the program's requirements.
With Meaningful Use Stage 2 implementation deadlines looming in the next few months, the nation's two largest provider associations this week asked the federal government for "flexibility" to meet the program's "all-or-nothing" requirements.
In a joint letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association pledged their support for the widespread adoption of electronic health records.
"However, we believe that the best way to move the program forward and ensure that no providers, particularly small and rural ones, are left behind is to realign the Meaningful Use Program's current requirements to ensure a safe, orderly transition to Stage 2," AHA President/CEO Rich Umbdenstock and AMA CEO James. L Madara, MD, said in their letter.
Stage 2 implementation for hospitals begins on Oct. 1, the first day of the federal fiscal year. For physicians, Stage 2 begins on Jan. 1, 2014. The AHA and the AMA said in their joint letter, however, that the implementation dates have placed EHR vendors on an overly aggressive deadline to provide technical support for more than 500,000 hospitals and physicians.