The American Medical Association (AMA) delegates are calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to suspend penalties for failure to meet meaningful use.
AMA announced this stance at its annual meeting, which is ongoing this week. They say the recent attestation numbers, 11,478 eligible providers and 840 hospitals, show that CMS should add more flexibility and shorten the reporting period to help physicians avoid penalties. It's also proof, AMA says, that meaningful use penalties should be suspended. Penalties are supposed to take place in 2015 and 2016 for those that have not met certain benchmarks.
“The whole point of the meaningful use incentive program was to allow for the secure exchange of information across settings and providers, and right now that type of sharing and coordination is not happening on a wide scale for reasons outside physicians’ control,” AMA President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD, said in a statement. “Physicians want to improve the quality of care and usable, interoperable EHRs are a pathway to achieving that goal.”
AMA joined with the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and Medical Group Management Association to say the Stage 2 attestation numbers prove their point about its difficulty. These stakeholder groups have advocated for a 90-day reporting period in 2015, rather than the current requirement of a 365-day reporting period. AMA also recently sent a letter to the CMS urging the agency to align federal regulations such as the meaningful use program, the physician quality reporting system (PQRS), and the value-based modifier program (VBM).