MGMA express concerns that the current “all or nothing” approach to achieving meaningful use may prove to be problematic for providers to meet Stage 2 requirements.
The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), which represents 22,500 members who lead 13,200 organizations nationwide recently requested the HHS should “immediately institute an indefinite moratorium on penalties for physicians that successfully completed Stage 1 meaningful use requirements.”
In the letter sent on August 21st to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Susan Turney MD, MS, President & CEO of MGMA said,
”MGMA has been very supportive of the federal efforts to promote and encourage the implementation and adoption of EHRs as a pathway toward improved clinical performance and enhanced administrative efficiency. We also were strongly supportive of the decision to extend the start date of Stage 2 by one year. However, it has become clear that the alignment between the more rigorous Stage 2 requirements and the ability of the vendor community to produce and deploy Stage 2 certified products has simply not occurred at the pace anticipated.”
Another MGMA key concern is vendor readiness with currently more than 2,200 products and almost 1,400 “complete” EHRs certified for meaningful use stage 1 and only 75 products and 21 complete EHRs certified for meaningful use stage 2.
“This lack of vendor readiness has significant implications for EPs. Without the appropriate software upgrades and timely vendor support, EPs will be unable to meet the Stage 2 requirements and thus will be unfairly penalized starting in 2015,” said Turney.
Other vendor readiness concerns mentioned were postponed software upgrades, lengthy implementation/training timelines, ICD-10 and “all or nothing” approach to achieving meaningful use stage 2 stringent requirements.
In her letter, Stream urged HHS to immediately take the additional following steps:
- Extend the reporting period for Stage 2 incentives
- Extend the reporting period for Stage 1 incentives
- Conduct a comprehensive vendor survey
- Build additional flexibility into the Stage 2 reporting requirements
“We believe adoption of these recommendations will help ensure that the Administration’s goal of having a significant majority of our nation’s EPs adopt interoperable EHRs is kept on track and that additional fairness and flexibility is appropriately built in to this important incentive program,”said Turney.
Read the letter to HHS here