Senate hearing focuses on potential delay of MU Stage 3

Dan Bowman | FierceEMR | July 24, 2015

Despite the federal government's best intentions to create an interoperable healthcare landscape, the Meaningful Use program has yet to truly prevent information blocking by both providers and vendors, legislators on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee declared at a hearing Thursday. To that end, they led a discussion focused on potentially delaying Stage 3 of the program, proposed in late March.

Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said based on what providers have told him, Meaningful Use Stage 3 is a terrifying prospect that could cost systems millions, and in some cases billions, of dollars. "My instinct is to say to Secretary [Sylvia Mathews] Burwell 'let's not go backward on electronic health records,'" Alexander (pictured) said. "But let's not impose on physicians and hospitals a system that doesn't work and which they spend most of their time dreading."

Alexander clarified he wants to slow down implementation of federal rules, not halt progress altogether, to ensure EHR implementation is done right the first time. Three of four individuals who testified at the hearing agreed with the notion of delaying Stage 3, although two--David Kendrick, chair of the University of Oklahoma's department of medical informatics, and Michael Mirro, past chair of the medical informatics committee for the American College of Cardiology and current chief academic and research officer at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation in Fort Wayne, Indiana--said the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's EHR certification program should continue...