The federal government should abandon its "all or nothing" approach to meeting requirements for meaningful use of electronic health records and reward incremental progress toward adoption and use of the technology, according to the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

In its formal letter of comments on the proposed meaningful use rules, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based trade association advocates giving providers until 2017 to "adequately achieve all components for EHR implementation." That would include an expanded suite of 34 core objectives and an incremental approach to compliance.

CHIME calls for an approach that would deem a provider a meaningful user if it can achieve 25 percent of objectives by 2011, 50 percent by 2013, 75 percent by 2015 and "substantially all" by 2017. The health information technology marketplace does not have the capacity to support the meaningful use timeframe as proposed, CHIME contends.

The letter is available at http://cio-chime.org/chime/pressreleases/CHIME_CMS_Letter.pdf.

--Joseph Goedert

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