This week at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS publicly put the meaningful use program on its death bed.
“The Meaningful Use program as it has existed, will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.””As any physician will tell you, physician burden and frustration levels are real. Programs designed to improve often distract. Done poorly, measures are divorced from how physicians practice and add to the cynicism that people who build these programs just don’t get it,” Slavitt said to the audience at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.
In response to Slavitt’s recent remarks, CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell has issued the following statement regarding the future of meaningful use:
“The Meaningful Use program has had a profound impact on the adoption of health information technology and furthering the digitization of the healthcare delivery system. CHIME members have long supported the underlying goals of the program and the industry has made significant progress in implementing IT systems to improve patient care, reduce costs and create a more efficient delivery system.
At the same time, CHIME has been at the forefront of advocating for refinements to the program to ensure that hospitals and physicians — can meet program requirements. We continue to call upon federal regulators to, among other things, better align clinical quality measures and adopt enforceable standards. We also believe that we need a laser-like focus on interoperability to improve health information exchange across the continuum of care. Central to that is finding a safe, accurate and private methodology for patient identification. Interoperable systems, a bigger focus on outcomes and less prescriptive use of how technology is used will better position providers for success in new payment and delivery models of care and ultimately benefit patient care.
We are encouraged that Acting Administrator Slavitt and CMS are open to improving the Meaningful Use program. It is important that we maintain momentum in digitizing healthcare. Robust IT systems are a cornerstone for achieving the Triple Aim — better population health, an improved patient experience and lower costs.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, along with other reforms being pursued by CMS, aim to dramatically shift healthcare toward value-based payment. Through these changes, we’ll see greater alignment between physicians and hospitals. CHIME believes that it is essential that we create more synergy between Meaningful Use requirements for hospitals and physicians if we are going to fully realize the potential that health IT has in promoting better patient care across the continuum.
We look forward to working with CMS as it begins to refine the Meaningful Use program.”