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Providers Push for Slower Stage 3 MU Roll Out

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 16, 2013

The Federation of American Hospitals, representing more than 1,000 for-profit hospitals, suggested in its formal comments that ONC extend the current two-year roll out cycle for meaningful use stages by an additional year for Stage 2 and Stage 3, and future stages.

"We raise these concerns not to suggest that we should not move the Meaningful Use program forward, but rather that we take a judicious approach to Stage 3," FAH said in its letter.

"Providers are almost focused solely on being compliant with requirements, rather than optimizing the technology that has already been implemented. Meaningful Use is not, and cannot be, the sole focus of providers. Too many important areas are being neglected as a result—harmonization of eMeasures, population health, patient identification and matching, etc. We urge policymakers to stop regulating providers to the point that they simply do not have the time or bandwidth to use their (Certified EHR Technology) to improve care."

The American Hospital Association wrote in its formal comments that the ONC's proposal includes a "very ambitious" set of recommendations for Stage 3 that would make more than 40 changes to Stage 2 requirements.

"The AHA believes it is too soon to define the meaningful use requirements for Stage 3. As of September 2012, fewer than one-third of hospitals had met the Stage 1 requirements and received a Medicare incentive payment," Linda E. Fishman  AHA's senior vice president, public policy analysis and development, said in a letter to Mostashari.

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