Despite some initial effusion over an announcement made on Dec. 6 by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) released a statement on Friday evening, Dec. 6, indicating that much of what was initially reported in the healthcare industry was not quite accurate.
Indeed, the statement began, “The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has confirmed with HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] officials that the proposed meaningful use Stage 2 extension /Stage 3 delay does not change front-end requirements for meaningful use in 2014, and does not afford much-needed flexibility to providers working to install and upgrade technology.”
The statement went on to say that, “While CHIME believes that the federal agency’s announcement Friday gives vendors and policymakers flexibility to ensure the outcomes sought in Stage 3 are realized, we are disappointed that it does not provide the flexibility for providers requested in previous recommendations. CHIME strongly urges CMS to consider previous recommendations to give eligible hospitals and eligible professionals flexibility in meeting the stage date of Stage 2. CHIME reiterates its belief that some providers will need an additional year to install, test, implement and operationalize the new certified EHR [electronic health record] software,” the statement added.
CHIME leaders expressed strong ongoing concern over the current set of mandates facing hospitals and physicians. In the statement, Russ Branzell, CHIME’s CEO, said, “There is a perfect storm brewing. With ICD-10 compliance coming into view, with HIPAA compliance demanding renewed attention and with all the activities associated with the Affordable Care Act converging in 2014, providers are nearing a breaking point. Flexiibility of the kind announced today is beneficial for Stage 3, but Stage 2 start-date flexibility is needed to ensure long-term success.”
Healthcare Informatics will continue to provide updates to this developing story.