AMA Calls For Reduced Requirements, Penalties For MU Program

Beth Walsh | Innovation + Technology | May 13, 2014

The American Medical Association (AMA) has a long list of ideas to make the Meaningful Use (MU) program better for physicians and shared its recommendations in a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

EHRs and other health IT have "the potential to help improve patient quality of care and drive practice efficiencies," wrote AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James Madara, MD, in a letter sent to both CMS Administrator Marilyn B. Tavenner and National Coordinator for Health IT Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc. "Unfortunately, the existing MU program and many of the EHRs certified for use in meeting the program’s requirements stand in the way of these goals."

Overly rigid requirements and financial penalties will only dissuade providers who are otherwise open to IT adoption, according to the association. Without significant changes, Madara said that physicians will drop out of the program; patients will suffer because existing EHRs fail to migrate data for coordinated care; thousands of physicians will incur financial penalties that will prevent future IT purchases; and new delivery models will be jeopardized because they rely on data-driven approaches...