CHIME to CMS: Nix pass/fail Meaningful Use model, streamline quality reporting

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to streamline the reporting required for the Meaningful Use program to reduce the burden on providers.

CHIME, in a letter sent this week to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt (pictured), is responding to a request for information from the agency regarding implementation of the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and implementation of alternative payment models for physicians. The American Medical Informatics Association called for changes to quality measurement and informatics policies in its own set of comments.

In particular, CHIME wants to eliminate the pass/fail Meaningful Use compliance model in favor of one in which physicians are successful if they meet 75 percent or more of the requirements. The members want that model to apply to hospitals as well as physician practices.

In addition, CHIME urges CMS to streamline quality reporting by eliminating duplicative and burdensome measures.

"Many CHIME members submit more than 20 reports across federal, state and private sector program for various clinical quality measures each month. Hours of work and expertise are required to comply with these reporting demands and such burdens are exacerbated by a lack of technical harmonization," CHIME Board Chairman Charles Christian and CHIME CEO and President Russell Branzell say in the letter.

In addition, the organization urges:

  • Elimination of measures that do not advance patient care
  • Requiring submission of electronic clinical quality measures only after rigorous testing and validation of those measures
  • Holding providers harmless until issues surrounding data integrity standards in EHRs are worked out

The American Academy of Family Physicians' has urged that that Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program be delayed and reworked so that it realigns with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which substantially changes the Meaningful Use program for physicians. 

The American Medical Association is also leading a campaign, along with 111 medical societies, in asking Congress to "refocus" Stage 3 on interoperability.

To learn more:
- read the letter (.pdf)