Stay ahead of developments in federal and state health care law, regulation and transactions with timely, expert news and analysis.
By Alex Ruoff
Dec. 8 — Health industry lobbying groups are at odds over whether the federal government should delay the last stage of the federal electronic health record incentive program.
Delaying Stage 3 of the meaningful use program would compromise the progress health-care organizations have made in improving the interoperability of their health IT systems, a group of health and technology companies led by the Health IT Now Coalition, Intel, Oracle and Verizon told congressional leaders in a Dec. 7 letter.
The group urged lawmakers to oppose any legislation that would alter the meaningful use program without first offering reforms to improve the electronic exchange of health records among health-care providers.
“Delay without reform would rob taxpayers and patients of cost savings while doing absolutely nothing to make the program work well for overburdened doctors and hospitals,” the letter said.
The group's request came after the American Academy of Family Physicians sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell urging a delay to Stage 3. The AAFP has also repeatedly asked Congress for a delay to Stage 3.
In addition, the GOP Doctors Caucus also asked House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in a letter to delay Stage 3 and called for other technology reforms.
The meaningful use program pays incentives to physicians and hospitals for using federally certified electronic health records. To date, the program has paid more than $32 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments to more than 479,000 providers and more than 5,000 hospitals. Physicians who don't meet Medicare EHR program requirements could be subject to lower Medicare reimbursements.
The AAFP and the Doctors Caucus said the meaningful use program hasn't promoted the use of health technologies that can improve the quality of care doctors provide their patients.
The groups said health-care providers are growing increasingly dissatisfied with their EHRs and the program's requirements.
“EHRs should be a tool for success in a physician's practice, not an obstacle to overcome,” Robert Wergin, chairman of the AAFP's board of directors, said in a statement.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Ruoff in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kendra Casey Plank at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)