The American College of Physicians is the latest in a long line of stakeholders to warn federal officials that the industry is not ready for Stage 2 of meaningful use and early Stage 3 proposals appear inappropriate or unfeasible.
“We are concerned that the very aggressive timeline combined with overly ambitious objectives may unnecessarily limit the success of the entire EHR Incentive Program,” ACP says in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and National HIT Coordinator Farzad Mostashari.
The organization also asks the government to remember the original guiding principles of meaningful use: to position providers to deliver excellent patient-centered care to improve clinical outcomes. On early drafts of Stage 3 criteria, ACP warns of reliance on evolving and draft standards, technology for which integration is not completely tested and the existing burden of ICD-10 compliance.
But the immediate concern is readiness for Stage 2. “It is becoming clear that the timeline for successful Meaningful Use reporting in 2014 is in jeopardy,” ACP states in its letter. Very few EHRs have any kind of Stage 2 certification and physicians could wind up being forced to assemble a 2014 meaningful use EHR from a variety of EHR modules, it contends. Further, there is growing concern that some new electronic clinical quality measures have not been adequately tested and validated.
“Other groups have also identified these problems and have suggested modifying Stage 2 reporting dates in order to extend the first reporting window for Stage 2,” according to the letter. “We share those concerns because EPs should not be penalized for problems with vendor or IT readiness. While we do not favor any particular scheme over another, we support the request to expand and/or add flexibility to the initial reporting period for Stage 2.”
ACP’s letter to federal officials is available here.
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