CHIME's statement follows concerns levied by six Senators that the current direction of the HITECH program is flawed. A white paper released April 16, "REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT," outlines several concerns including increased health care costs, lack of momentum toward interoperability, patient privacy, and long-term program sustainability.
The REBOOT report "highlights a number of fair and responsible criticisms of the program and it echoes many of the concerns CHIME has voiced over the last three years," CHIME's letter said. "But given the nation's increased adoption of EHRs, the increased investments in interoperable solutions and the early-stage transformations encountered every day by our members, we remain convinced that the trajectory set by Meaningful Use is the correct one.
"CHIME believes the industry's guiding principle should be to maximize the opportunity of program success and monitor the timelines needed to do that. For this reason, we formally and strongly recommend a one-year extension to Stage 2 before progressing to Stage 3 of Meaningful Use," the organization concluded.
In its letter, CHIME also called upon Congress to request an update from ONC on what technologies, architectures, and strategies exist to mitigate patient matching errors; seek feedback from the public via congressional hearing or other formal commenting mechanism; and determine how current work at the HHS Standards and Interoperability Framework could be leveraged to address the foundational challenge of patient data-matching.