More than 50 consumer and employer organizations have written an open letter to federal officials urging them to retain, in a final rule, the proposed definition for meaningful use of electronic health records.

"A final rule that does not lay a clear path in the first year toward tangible improvements in quality and lay the foundation for the systemic changes necessary for reform could waste taxpayer dollars and not launch us on the needed course for the future," according to the letter. It was sent April 20 to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; Charlene Frizzera, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; David Blumenthal, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology within HHS; and Tony Trenkle, director of the Office of E-Health Standards and Services in CMS.

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