GOP Lawmakers Urge Halt On Meaningful-Use Payments

Jessica Zigmond and Joseph Conn | | October 4, 2012

HHS should suspend incentive payments to providers in the electronic health-records program and delay penalties to those that do not integrate health IT until the federal department can define clear, interoperable standards, House Republican leaders suggested Thursday in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

During a seven-week congressional recess, the chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees and respective health subcommittees charged that nearly $10 billion in federal dollars may have been wasted because the recent Stage 2 Meaningful Use program rules from the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology are “weaker” than the Stage 1 rules released three years ago.

“The Stage 2 rules fail to achieve comprehensive interoperability in a timely manner, leaving our healthcare system trapped in information silos, much like it was before the incentive payments,” Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Wally Herger (R-Calif.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) wrote in their letter to Sebelius on Oct. 4...