The American Medical Association (AMA) sent a letter this week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) with recommendations for Stage 3 of meaningful use.
The AMA’s recommendations were submitted ahead of the proposed rule for Stage 3 of meaningful use. They include asking CMS and ONC for a more flexible approach for meeting meaningful use by removing the “all or nothing” threshold; better alignment of quality measure requirements with the physician quality reporting system (PQRS); ensuring quality measures and clinical decision support within the program are evidence-based; and restructuring EHR certification to focus on interoperability.
They also request that ONC and CMS expand hardship exemption for all MU stages, including for physicians who participate in PQRS and provide exemptions for many specialists. Also, AMA is looking for the government to make measures like the view, download and transmit, transitions of care, and secure messaging requirements optional. They also recommend Stage 3 be less primary care centric and include the needs of specialists and requiring physicians to meet no more than ten requirements.
"Physicians will always embrace technology that can help them provide better care for their patients and foster innovation, but improvements must be made to the Meaningful Use program in order for those goals to be achieved," AMA President Robert M. Wah, M.D. said in a statement. "We can no longer just delay the program from taking full effect. We must make the necessary changes to ensure that the Meaningful Use program requirements are in fact meaningful and deliver - not hinder - the intended improvements in patient care and practice efficiencies."
The letter also concerns its present concerns with Stages 1 and 2 of meaningful use and recommendations for improving specific measures.