AMA-led Group Asks Feds to Redo EHR Testing Program

Joseph Conn | Modern Healthcare | January 23, 2015

The American Medical Association is calling for an overhaul of a federal program to test and certify electronic health-record systems for suitability in the EHR incentive-payment program. Its request has been joined by 34 other medical specialty societies and healthcare professional organizations.

“We believe there is an urgent need to change the current certification program to better align end-to-end testing to focus on EHR usability, interoperability and safety,” the group said. “Physician informaticists and vendors have reported to us that MU (meaningful use) certification has become the priority in health information technology design at the expense of meeting physician customers' needs, patient safety and product innovation.”

A 9-page letter to the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (PDF) complained of “documented challenges and (a) growing frustration with the way EHRs are performing.” Such problems are inadequately addressed by the federal EHR testing and certification program led by the ONC, the AMA and its colleagues contend...