Health Information Management

AMA criticizes EHR Incentive Programs, recommends changes

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 20, 2014

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by Jaclyn Fitzgerald, Editor
 
The American Medical Association (AMA) addressed weaknesses within CMS’ EHR Incentive Programs and made recommendations for improving the programs in a letter to CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), according to a press release.
 
The AMA urged CMS and ONC to work toward improving EHR functionality for physicians and to enhance patient care. A meaningful use blueprint outlined the changes recommended by the AMA, which included:
  • Adopting a flexible approach for meeting meaningful use that will allow physicians to participate in the program
  • Better aligning quality measure requirements to reduce the reporting burden on physicians and help relieve them from overlapping penalties
  • Ensuring quality measures and clinical decision support are current to improve care for patients and ensure physicians are following the latest evidence
  • Restructuring and simplifying the EHR certification to focus on key areas like interoperability and usability
  • Making some of the most challenging objectives optional (e.g., view, download and transmit, transitions of care, secure messaging)
  • Placing less focus on primary care for stage 3 meaningful use by expanding the options for health IT objectives to meet the needs of specialists
  • Requiring physicians to meet no more than 10 requirements for health IT objectives for stage 3 meaningful use
The AMA also made recommendations for improving stages 1 and 2 of the meaningful use program. It is advocating for the removal of penalties for physicians who are attempting to meet program requirements, but have not yet met 100% of requirements. The AMA recommended that CMS and ONC remove penalties for physicians who meet at least 50% of stage 1 and 2 requirements. 

 

 



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