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CMS: Meaningful Use for Physicians Would End in 2017

By smace@healthleadersmedia.com  
   April 28, 2016

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In a statement, the American Medical Association praised the MACRA notice of proposed rulemaking:

"It is hard to overstate the significance of these proposed regulations for patients and physicians," said AMA President Steven J. Stack MD. "When Congress overwhelmingly passed MACRA last year, lawmakers signaled that they wanted to transform Medicare by promoting flexibility and innovation in the delivery of care, changes that could lead to improved quality and better outcomes for patients.

"Our initial review suggests that CMS has been listening to physicians' concerns. In particular, it appears that CMS has made significant improvements by recasting the EHR Meaningful Use program and by reducing quality reporting burdens. "The existing Medicare pay-for-performance programs are burdensome, meaningless, and punitive.  The new incentive system needs to be relevant to the real-world practice of medicine and establish meaningful links between payments and the quality of patient care, while reducing red tape."

The head of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) also issued a statement of support:

"CHIME has long supported the goals of the federal Meaningful Use program to advance health IT solutions that increase efficiency and improve patient care," said CHIME president and CEO Russell Branzell. "While the proposed regulations are largely focused on physicians, there are elements concerning data blocking that apply to hospitals and will be of significant interest to our members. We are encouraged that CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said the agency will continue to meet with hospital officials to create alignment across health IT programs. We look forward to working with the administration to address critical issues impacting CHIME members, including adopting a 90-day reporting period and removing the pass-fail construct for attestation."

In a blog post, one prominent hospital CIO did question whether the existing certification rules for HIT software need further modification.

"The use of the ONC 2015 Certification Rule [as part of the MACRA NPRM] is not a good idea," wrote John Halamka MD, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "The burden of certification will consume developer resources that could be used for innovation."

Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.

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