Some good news for meaningful use: More realistic requirements

AMA Wire
Email this page

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposed modifications to the meaningful use electronic health record (EHR) system program will make it easier for physicians to achieve success, the AMA this week told the agency in a comment letter. Here’s how the modified version stacks up to the original—and what it means for you.

CMS released its proposed changes to Stages 1 and 2 of the notoriously burdensome program April 15. The changes reflect recommendations the AMA has been making for years, such as adding flexibility and lessening penalties.

Look right for the key proposed changes you should know:

About 80 percent of physicians already have incorporated EHRs into their practices, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. This proves physicians are on board with new technologies that can strengthen the physician-patient relationship and make them more efficient, said AMA President-elect Steven J. Stack, MD, in a statement.

“However, physicians have faced significant barriers in participating in the meaningful use program and many are receiving penalties despite their investments in those types of innovations,” Dr. Stack said. “We believe CMS’ proposal offers common sense solutions that, if finalized quickly, will help more physicians use EHRs in a truly meaningful way while supporting patient engagement.”

According to CMS data released in mid-December, about one-half of eligible professionals will face payment penalties next year because they could not fulfill meaningful use requirements. Only about 9 percent of physicians and other eligible providers had attested to Stage 2 of meaningful use in 2014, highlighting the difficulty of the program.

Changes good but should go farther

The AMA offered more recommendations for CMS to consider before it publishes its final rule on the matter late this summer, including:

  • Establishing a reporting period of less than 365 days for 2016 and 2017.
  • Allowing accommodations for new participants in 2016 and 2017.
  • Making electronic reporting to public health agencies optional.
  • Adding hardship exemptions for physicians who experience such difficulties as switching EHRs, system downtime, cyber attacks and other circumstances that could prevent them from achieving meaningful use.

The AMA urged CMS to publish a final rule “as quickly as possible to instill confidence in the program.” The deadline for groups to submit comments on the rule is June 15.

The AMA continues its aggressive push for solutions to the one-size-fits-all program, as outlined in a blueprint submitted to CMS in October.

In addition, the AMA is building on a new framework for EHR usability that it recently developed with an external advisory committee of practicing physicians and health IT experts, researchers and executives. More than 30 physician groups also joined the AMA in recommending three changes to improve the EHR certification process to make it easier for physicians to use EHRs and care for patients.

Email this page


this change would be warmly received by all of us in clinic leadership.<br/> the portal requirements have been very difficult.<br/> thank you
I have given up on meaningless use after years of pushing buttons, jumping thru hoops, spending too much money, and stressing out an entire office. I am much calmer taking the hit, and actually doing better financially not participating. I am still using my EHR, but on my terms and in a way that really does enhance care. <br/> I talk directly to my patients, and even listen now. What a concept.
Here is an idea. How about doctors just quit Medicare. It is very clear that we are being egregiously attacked with no bright future to look forward to under all this burdensome micromanagement by bureaucrats. If half of the group is going to be penalized what does this say about the feasibility and reality of "getting along" with the "master plan"? Let's stop inviting more control over us by just saying "no thanks".
We are doing ten dollar haircuts a lot of the time. How many different ways can you describe a ten dollar haircut. Lots of ways. Just look at some of the meaningless data is in those reports. It takes a lot of time to find some human thinking there. It's machine talk, template care. Use the time to listen to the patient, not groom the chart so you can get the money. That is not the spirit of medicine. It is not who we are.
In clinic leadership, it is understandable that portal requirements can be very difficult to those trying to do the work of medicine. It is like herding cats.
I was an early adopter on EMR in a previous practice. I am now in a solo practice using paper records. I did not buy an EMR for my current practice because I already knew that this technology is not ready yet and would only make my notes much worse and would permanently raise my operating costs and decrease my productivity. When the Meaningful Use penalties went in to effect I cut medicare slots in my practice to 10% and I am keeping them below that level. Problem solved.
I did, see below, it's great, I have more time at home and my practice revenues went up.
Here is some good advice for you: Have the government disallow law suits if the Doctor is using the computer EHR or even computer office records when ever the computer fails.
It is really good article i like this more I am working in writing company. The Academic writing helps for growth their writing skill and communication skill also.
Show Comments (9)