Following the recent revelation of relatively low rates of Stage 2 meaningful use attestation on the part of eligible professionals, or EPs (mostly physicians but also including small numbers of physician assistants and nurse practitioners), the Chicago- and Washington, D.C.-based American Medical Association (AMA) on Feb. 11 released a public statement decrying core elements of the meaningful use program under the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act.
As of December 2014, just 33,000 physicians and other EPs, or only 15 percent of those who had attested to Stage 1 of meaningful use, had attested to Stage 2 of MU (as opposed to 47 percent who had attested to Stage 1), according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, as reported by iHealthBeat on Feb. 6.
As a result, the AMA made the following statement, under the headline, “AMA: Meaningful Use Is Still Broken”:
“The American Medical Association (AMA) is alarmed by yesterday’s announcement that more than three quarters of eligible professionals have still been unable to attest to Meaningful Use.
“The program’s one-size-fits-all approach, that has not been proven to improve quality, has made it difficult for physicians to take part. The penalties physicians are facing as a result of the Meaningful Use program undermine the program’s goals and take valuable resources away from physician practices that could be spent investing in better and additional technologies and moving to alternative models of care that could improve quality and lower costs.
“They additionally make it harder for physicians to meet Meaningful Use in the future. In order to successfully attest, physicians must spend tens of thousands of dollars for tech support, software upgrades, interfaces and data exchange, often on a recurring basis.
“The AMA continues to work with the Administration to improve the Meaningful Use program and looks forward to seeing how CMS’ anticipated new rules address these issues this spring.”