Physician Practice

AHA urges CMS to take a flexible approach to meaningful use

Physician Practice Insider, April 5, 2016

CMS should retire its all or nothing approach to meaningful use, the American Hospital Association (AHA) said in a March 22 letter to Patrick Conway, MD, acting principal deputy administrator of CMS. The AHA urged CMS to adopt a more flexible method that would eliminate the current payment penalty for not meeting all meaningful use requirements, while allowing eligible professionals (EP) and other eligible participants to still receive incentive payments for meeting a certain percentage of meaningful use requirements.

The current system is unnecessarily burdensome and might unfairly penalize those EPs who, although they may invest considerable resources into expanding their practice’s use of health IT, could fall short of meeting all requirements due to a lack of funds.

The AHA recommended that CMS designate EPs who attest to successfully meeting 70% of the requirements as meaningful users of health IT. This suggestion was raised in a previous discussion with CMS, according to the letter. However, CMS countered by saying it does not have the statutory authority to modify its approach to meaningful use requirements. In the letter, the AHA quotes legislation that appears to imply CMS has the legal authority to make the suggested changes but chooses not to based on matters of policy.

The AHA has repeatedly battled with CMS over meaningful use.

In January, CMS stated that meaningful use will be overhauled to fit in with changes made by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

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