Statement by CHIME Board of Trustees Chair Charles E. Christian, CHCIO, LCHIME, FCHIME
Ann Arbor, MI, September 28, 2015 – A bipartisan group of congressional leaders today sent a letter to the Obama administration calling for a delay in final rulemaking for Meaningful Use Stage 3.
We commend Reps. Renee Elmers (R-NC), Tom Price (R-GA) and David Scott (D-GA) for their leadership on this effort and the 100-plus lawmakers who signed on in support. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and its 1,700 members support the overarching intent of the Meaningful Use program. We are committed to the adoption, use and optimization of electronic health records as a means to improve the quality of patient care. However, many hospitals and physician practices are still struggling to meet requirements under Stage 2. According to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, only 1,826 hospitals successfully attested to Stage 2 in 2014. That’s just 38 percent of hospitals that registered for the program. By comparison, 4,379 hospitals successfully attested for Stage 1 at least during the past five years.
CHIME staff held a high-level briefing with administration officials last Friday detailing how a delay would give all stakeholders time to address challenges to continued success of the Meaningful Use program. Several policy and industry barriers must be removed before providers are able to advance to Stage 3, not the least of which is creating true interoperability between EHRs. A pause in final rulemaking for Stage 3 would give policymakers, providers and vendors time to address the barriers to interoperability.
As the congressional letter to Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan points out, CMS should also evaluate how new Medicare payment models will impact Stage 3 regulations. In particular, the Merit-Based Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs) were finalized after Stage 3 regulations were developed.
CHIME will continue to work with congressional leaders and the administration to ensure that the Meaningful Use program moves forward in a responsible way.
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,600 CIO members and over 150 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information please visit www.chimecentral.org
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