Skip to content Skip to navigation

MGMA Asks HHS to Delay Imposing MU Penalties on Physicians

August 22, 2013
by Mark Hagland
| Reprints
In an Aug. 21 letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius, the MGMA’s Susan Turney asks for leniency for MDs who have met Stage 1 MU requirements

In a letter addressed on August 21 to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Susan Turney, M.D., president and CEO of the Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), called on Secretary Sebelius to embrace a series of actions designed to ease the burden on physicians trying to meet the meaningful use requirements in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. “If the appropriate steps are not taken,” Turney wrote in the letter, “we believe physicians that have made significant investments in EHR [electronic health record] technology and successfully completed Stage 1 requirements will be unfairly subject to negative Medicare payment adjustments. Accordingly,” she wrote, “HHS should immediately institute an indefinite moratorium on penalties for physicians that successfully completed Stage 1 meaningful use requirements.”


Susan Turney, M.D.

In addition to her request for leniency on physicians who have already met the Stage 1 requirements, Turney asked Sebelius for a range of other actions, including:

> Considering the difficult circumstances of eligible professionals in small and rural clinical settings, and not requiring them to “rip and replace” existing EHRs in order to comply with the MU requirement for using certified vendor products under Stage 2.

> Extending the reporting period for Stage 2 incentives. Turney asked for a minimum of a one-year extension.

> Extending the reporting period for Stage 1 incentives, averting negative payment adjustments for physicians who have attested to Stage 1.

> Conducting a comprehensive survey of vendors, per their readiness.

> Building additional flexibility into the Stage 2 reporting requirements.

“We believe adoption of these recommendations will help ensure that the Administration’s goal of having a significant majority of our nation’s EPs adopt interoperable EHRs is kept on track and that additional fairness and flexibility is appropriately built into this important incentive program,” Turney said in her letter.

Topics

News

Survey: Majority of Hospitals Face Challenges, Lack of Readiness for eCQM Data Reporting

July 26, 2016
More than three-fourths of hospitals, or 78 percent, still have work ahead of them in order to successfully submit electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) data as part of the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program by the Feb. 28, 2017 deadline.

HHS to Fund Cybersecurity Information Sharing Organization

July 26, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to fund a cybersecurity information sharing and analysis organization for the healthcare and public health sector.

Study: Medical Students Use EHRs to Track Former Patients

July 26, 2016
Medical students are continually using electronic health records (EHRs) in training, using the technology to track former patients after they have left one’s direct care, according to new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

NewYork-Presbyterian Launches Enterprise-Wide Digital Health Services Platform

July 26, 2016
NewYork-Presbyterian, a New York City-based integrated healthcare delivery system comprised of nine hospitals, is rolling out a new suite of digital health services, NYP OnDemand, with a particular focus on expanded telehealth services.

athenahealth Says it will Cover MIPS Payment Penalties for Customers

July 25, 2016
athenahealth has said that if customers using the company’s athenaOne services get hit with Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) payment penalties, it will cover the financial consequences for those unsuccessful practices.

OIG Study Finds 60 Percent of Hospitals Experienced EHR Disruptions, Highlights Importance of Contingency Plans

July 25, 2016
Close to 60 percent of hospitals have experienced an unplanned disruption to their EHR systems and a quarter of those hospitals experienced delays in patient care as a result, according to a study released by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG).

University of Mississippi Medical Center Agrees to Pay $2.75M to Settle Potential HIPAA Violations

July 25, 2016
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) has signed a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) following an investigation of a data breach of unsecured PHI that occurred in 2013.

HHS Grants $36M in Funding for Health IT Improvement

July 25, 2016
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell has announced more than $36 million in funding for 50 Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) that will aim to greatly increase health IT support across the country.

Study: Data-Driven Physiologic Alarm Parameters Can Help Reduce Alarm Fatigue

July 22, 2016
Alarm fatigue from clinical decision support systems is a significant hazard in hospitals. In a recent study, researchers found that tailoring bedside monitor alarm limits using data-driven physiologic parameters can mitigate alarm fatigue.

New CMS Initiative will Leverage Predictive Modeling to Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes

July 22, 2016
A new program released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will aim to decrease cardiovascular disease risk by leveraging data analytics by assessing an individual patient’s risk for heart attack or stroke and applying prevention interventions.

Justice Department, State Attorneys General Sue to Block Anthem, Aetna Deals

July 21, 2016
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that the department, along with attorneys general from multiple states, filed lawsuits to block Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s pending acquisition of Humana.

Study: Large Health Systems Investing in Strategic Initiatives to Address Patients’ Social Needs

July 21, 2016
Several health systems have been investing core operating dollars to address the social needs of patients in order to improve overall health outcomes, and are integrating that work into core clinical systems, according to a new study from the Bridgespan Group.

Survey of Health IT Pros Reveals High and Frequent Stress Levels

July 21, 2016
A survey of approximately 500 health IT professionals by HealthITJobs.com has revealed that 55 percent of such professionals are frequently or constantly stressed, and 38 percent say their stress is high or extremely high.

Survey: 74 Percent of Physician Specialties Saw Increased Compensation in 2015

July 20, 2016
Average physician compensation increased 3.1 percent in 2015, with 74 percent of physician specialties experiencing increases, according to the latest AMGA Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey.

NCPA Senior Fellow Calls MACRA “A Poor Solution”

July 20, 2016
A report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) has assessed that the "doc fix” contained in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is fiscally irresponsible, and will only increase federal control over how doctors practice medicine.

Pages