The Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society is taking issue with a call from four Republican leaders of the U.S. House to halt and fix the electronic health records meaningful use program.

The leaders advocate suspending incentive payments until new rules are set establishing universal standards for interoperability and substantially toughening other requirements for meaningful use. “Incentive payments, particularly those funded by the Medicare trust funds and taxpayers, should be given to providers who are truly ‘meaningful users’ of EHRs,” they told HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a recent letter.

HIMSS retorts that there are clear indications the meaningful use programs is working, as more than 2,700 hospitals and 73,000 eligible professionals have attested,  and hospitals steadily are achieving higher scores on the HIMSS Analytics scale of EHR functional adoption. Further, recently published rules for Stage 2 “moves the nation definitely towards interoperability,” the association contends in a statement.

“HIMSS supports the concept of graduated complexity of meaningful use; this stepped approach recognizes evolutionary maturity of adoption and implementation of health I.T.--all of which serves as the foundation for healthcare transformation. Significant progress has been made; widespread interoperability is within reach.”

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