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Medical Societies Call for Delay of Meaningful Use Stage 3

Laura Joszt
Meaningful use stage 3 is not scheduled to start until 2017, but 41 medical societies are calling to delay the start of stage 3, especially given recent changes to Medicare.
Meaningful use stage 3 is not scheduled to start until 2017, but 41 medical societies, including the American Medical Association (AMA), American College of Physicians, and the American Society of Hematology, are calling to delay the start of stage 3, especially given recent changes to Medicare.

These medical societies are backing Senator Lamar Alexander, who believes the meaningful use program should be paused given the need to improve usability and interoperability of electronic health records.

"Proper reassessment of the program before implementing the final stage of regulations will help avoid problematic software that physicians and patients will be burdened with for years to come," AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, said in response to Alexander's calls for delay.

Now the coalition of physician organizations has delivered letters to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan explaiing that locking in rules for stage 3 of the meaningful use program  would undermine the implementation of Medicare payment reforms. They point out that proposed meaningful use stage 3 rules were "developed prior to and without consideration of the changes enacted by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)."

The program will play an important role in payment reforms introduced by the legislation, the societies argue, and therefore proposed stage 3 rules could impede healthcare delivery innovations Congress seeks through the passage of MACRA.

“The AMA wants the Meaningful Use program to succeed,” said Dr Stack. "Pausing to reassess Stage 3 rules will not stop or delay progress with EHRs. On the contrary, we firmly believe a temporary period of reevaluation will help move the program forward and drive innovation and adoption.”

 
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