ACP Urges Legislators to Include MU Stage 2 Hardship Exemption in Spending Bill | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

ACP Urges Legislators to Include MU Stage 2 Hardship Exemption in Spending Bill

December 10, 2015
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

As Congress works on a year-end spending bill, the American College of Physicians (ACP) is urging the House Committee on Appropriations to include a provision for blanket hardship exemptions from Meaningful Use Stage 2 penalties and to provide sufficient funding for public health and research initiatives.

In a letter sent to Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, and Rep. Nita Lowey, ranking member of the committee, on Dec. 9, ACP president Wayne Riley wrote that ACP strongly supports a provision that would amend current law to provide the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with the authority to grant a blanket exemption for 2015 to physicians, hospitals and others who are affected by a penalty under the MU Stage 2 program.

Under the current rule, clinicians must attest that they have met the requirements for Stage 2 for a period of 90 consecutive days during calendar year 2015. ACP argues that CMS published the rule too late in the year —not until Oct. 16—to give clinicians sufficient time to comply.

Riley wrote, “We understand that CMS welcomes this modification to current law, and ACP applauds efforts to address the problem. ACP was also disappointed that CMS chose to re-implement the full-year reporting period to meet the Stage 2 MU requirements in 2016-2017. The College believes that 90 days is sufficient time for practices to demonstrate that they are meaningfully using their EHR system and would support a provision to return to the 90-day requirement.”

The ACP, a medical specialty organization that has 143,000 clinician members, also urged the Committee on Appropriations, as it works on year-end spending bills, or an omnibus spending-bill package, to support and make needed investments in “vital federal programs and initiatives designed to maintain and expand primary care, ensure an adequate physician workforce and promote public health.” The letter also offered ACP’s recommendations on several proposed riders that would direct how funds may be used by federal healthcare agencies.

The ACP said in the letter it opposes any provision that would significantly weaken the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ability to regulate electronic cigarettes. And, the group urged the Committee on Appropriations to support necessary and sufficient funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and opposed the provision that would eliminate agency funding. And, the group said it opposes proposals to eliminate needed funding for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research.

 

 

Get the latest information on Meaningful Use and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.