The federal government's proposal that 50 percent of primary care physicians participating in Medicare Shared Savings accountable care organizations demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records by their second year could reduce interest in the program, according to the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association, comprising more than 40 vendors.

In a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the association recommends lowering the meaningful use threshold to 25 percent among all participating eligible professionals. "CMS must encourage the use of health I.T. by all providers that are members of an ACO--not just primary care providers--in order to advance HIE, remove information silos that potentially compromise quality care, and encourage true reform in care delivery to better meet the needs of patients and other consumers," according to the comment letter. Other recommendations include:

* Clarify references to health information exchange within the rule to make clear to ACOs that they have the flexibility to use any standards-based electronic care coordination tools that meet their needs,

* Align reporting initiatives so providers need not generate and submit duplicative information using different reporting specifications, and

* Reduce the number of quality measures to 20 or fewer in the first year, as the proposed 65 measures are not realistic.

Click here for the complete comment letter to CMS.


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