Heavyweights Lead Charge For More Time On EHR Meaningful Use

Joseph Conn | Modern Publication | September 6, 2014

A host of heavyweight healthcare organizations is calling for HHS to back off of the requirement to meet meaningful-use criteria for all of 2015 for the federally funded electronic health-record incentive payment program, insisting that the future of the program is at stake.  At issue are the requirements that many participants in the program meet meaningful-use criteria for the entire 2015 fiscal year, which is used by hospitals, and the 2015 calendar year, used by physicians and other eligible professionals. The letter writers want the compliance period shortened to 90 days from the entire year.

The three-page letter sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Monday, undersigned by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, the Medial Group Management Association and the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems and 11 other groups warned that “we're convinced that program success hinges on addressing the 2015 reporting period requirements.”

“To date, only 143 hospitals and 3,152 (physicians and other) EPs have demonstrated an ability to meet Stage 2 requirements” using EHRs tested and certified to the 2014 Edition software standards needed for use in the program, according to the letter. “This presents less than 4% of the hospitals required to be Stage 2 ready within the next 15 days. And while eligible professionals have more time, they are in comparatively worse shape, with only 1.3% of their cohort having met the Stage 2 bar.”  “We believe that giving providers a small amount of additional time to complete the transition to Stage 2 is the right policy to keep the program on track,” they said...