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EXCLUSIVE SURVEY: Most Physicians Unhappy with the Stage 3 Proposed Rule

March 27, 2015
by Gabriel Perna and Rajiv Leventhal
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Physicians are not happy with the proposed rule for Stage 3 of meaningful use, even if the majority of them say they can catch up to Stage 3 by 2018, which is one of its provisions.

These sentiments were unfurled in a survey, exclusively designed by Healthcare Informatics editors and conducted by QuantiaMD, a Waltham, Mass.-based social network for physicians.  QuantiaMD surveyed 150 physicians in its network about the recently proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which will establish a single set of objectives and measure, tailored to eligible providers (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs), and critical access hospitals (CAHs). This will be optional for providers in 2017 and required by 2018, regardless of a provider's prior participation in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.

While the majority of physicians surveyed, 71 percent, say they will be able to do this; only 38 percent say the government did a fair job with the Stage 3 proposed rule. The physicians, as well as other industry stakeholders, have slightly less than two months to comment. The final rule will be created with industry feedback in mind.  

In terms of what physicians anticipate will be the toughest to meet, patient engagement (53.33 percent) and coordination of care (42.67 percent) ranked above all others. ePrescribing (10 percent), health information exchange (16 percent), and protecting health information (18 percent) were the top three measures on the other end of the spectrum.

In response to an open answered question on what they wish would be different about the proposed rule, many expressed their disdain for the program. Some said it should be abolished. One person said they’re going to take the penalty rather than try to attest. Many wrote a desire to get rid of penalties and others talked about different timelines. In terms of specific measures Patient engagement and coordination of care were mentioned the most.

“I do not think that the creators of these rules have any idea how difficult it is to get patients to sign up to access their records. Practices/hospital takes the penalties for patients not signing up. Our population is largely Hispanic, elderly, and uneducated. From our experience, they have no interest in signing up for this,” one respondent wrote.

Despite the challenge of coordination of care, one survey respondent said that it was the one they liked the most. “I am a family medicine doctor and so being able to coordinate with all aspects of patient care is greatly needed,” he wrote.

Below are the complete results from the QuantiaMD survey:


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