Physician Groups Urge Changes, Extensions for Meaningful Use Criteria
Leading provider groups used the last day of a public comment period to urge CMS to scale back the proposed rule establishing meaningful use criteria for electronic health records incentive programs.
The Englewood, CO-based Medical Group Management Association asked CMS to formally request a one-year legislative extension of Stage 1 of the incentive program from Congress.
MGMA President/CEO William F. Jessee, MD, said in a 43-page letter to CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera that a failure to substantially modify the proposal would risk meeting the goals for health information technology adoption under the $21 billion stimulus package.
"The meaningful use requirements must be achievable and verifiable without creating an undue burden on eligible professionals and their administrative staff. This is especially critical in the first years of the incentive program," Jessee said.
AMA Board Member Steven J. Stack, MD, also called the Stage 1 criteria proposed by CMS "too aggressive."
"It could unreasonably punish physicians who undertake great efforts to achieve meaningful use of EHRs— only to be denied incentive payments due to overly complex and unattainable criteria," Stack said in a media release. "We are committed to EHR adoption that streamlines physician practices and helps them continue providing high-quality care to patients, but successful integration of EHRs into patient care takes time."