From the beginning, meaningful use stage 3 has been under constant scrutiny, creating quite a stir. Based on the proposed rules released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), many are skeptical of this final stage of the EHR incentive program, claiming there are many changes to be made before it can truly be effective.
Last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) submitted a comment letter to the CMS voicing their concerns and as well as proposing several improvements for MU 3. “We cannot ignore the problems and barriers that are preventing us from moving towards a learning health system—including focusing on patient safety, privacy and security, interoperability, and how we can promote rather than hinder innovation,” wrote AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD.
The AMA outlined the following list of concerns that must be addressed before MU 3 can begin to move forward:
- Patient Safety
- Modifications Rule Impact
- Privacy and Security
- Focus on Interoperability
- Quality Measures
- Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
A press release has been issued with Steven J. Stack, MD, President-elect of the AMA, stating, ““As we’ve said many times, the Meaningful Use program is not meaningful in its current form and is not helping physicians use electronic health records in a way that facilitates the best care coordination, increases efficiency or improves the quality of care for patients.”
These five suggestions for improvement by the AMA should be taken into account before the proposed rules are finalized:
- Utilize 2017 as a year for vendors and providers to adjust to the new regulations and understand what changes will be made
- Decrease the reporting period from one year to minimize external factors affecting the providers ability to complete attestation
- Discuss potential modifications with vendors and providers and consider their input before revising the rules
- Amend objectives to include the needs of medical specialists
- Accept quality measures submitted to clinical registries as part of MU quality measure requirements
There are numerous other suggestions detailed in the comment letter regarding eRx, information exchange, patient-generated data, etc.
The AMA isn’t the only group against the stage 3 rules. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is also in strong opposition of the proposal. According to a Medscape article, the number of EPs who have attested to MU 2 is only 54,000, whereas there were previously 305,000 EPs attesting.
Neither organization is in favor of the direction MU3 is taking, and this likely will not be the last we hear of it.
Author: Apoorva Anupindi