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AAFP Builds Tool for Docs to Speak Out Against MU Stage 3

October 26, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has built a tool with the aim to help family doctors speak out against the recently-issued meaningful use Stage 3 final rule.

On Oct. 6, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released both the Stage 3 final rule and the Stage 2 modifications final rule together in a 752-page document. Specifically regarding the Stage 3 final rule, CMS announced a 60-day public comment period to facilitate additional stakeholder feedback.

Now, AAFP is taking a page out of the American Medical Association’s book, developing a Speak Out tool to help family physicians demand that their representatives do just that. More than 1,900 Academy members have called for a pause in MU Stage 3 through the Speak Out already. What’s more, AAFP says, their messages can be expected to find an attentive audience in Washington, where senators and more than 100 House members had asked for a delay just before the final Stage 3 rule was issued.

According to AAFP, “The message to legislators spells out the fact that MU stage three requirements make it more difficult for physicians to maintain the high standards their patients expect. If allowed to stand, the requirements will impose ‘significant financial strains’ on practices without doing much to improve the quality of patient care.”

Already, the number of physicians who have attested to MU has fallen dramatically, the message tells legislators. Fewer than 10 percent of physicians have attested to Stage 2, and 43 percent will face a penalty in 2015, according to AAFP. “To keep from driving even more physicians from the program, Congress must pass legislation to delay MU stage three until it is refocused to help physicians improve their care for patients,” the message says.

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