Seventeen major stakeholders have joined forces in a rising groundswell, sending a joint letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell urging immediate relief from the Meaningful Use program's full year reporting requirement using 2014 certification criteria in 2015.
In a letter dated Sept 15, the American Hospital Association, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), the American Medical Association, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and others note that they are "incredibly" concerned that the current requirement, if not modified "immediately" will "diminish the benefits of the rule HHS proposed in May and complicate the forward trajectory of Meaningful Use."
The organizations point out that only 4 percent of hospitals and 1.3 percent of eligible professionals have met the Stage 2 requirements thus far, and that hundreds of thousands of providers will simply not be ready in time to comply with the requirement. The reporting period for hospitals begins in less than two weeks, on Oct. 1; eligible professionals begin reporting on Jan. 1, 2015.
The letter also implies that the organizations' concerns about the program's timelines earlier this year were not addressed in the new rule, stating that "we were surprised to learn that flexibilities meant to mitigate 2014 challenges did not also address program misalignment in 2015 and beyond."
The signatories ask not only for a shortened, 90-day reporting period, but also for flexibility in the transition of care and view, download and transmit measures.
"We believe these changes will have a dramatically positive effect on program participation and policy outcomes sought in 2015 and beyond," they assert.
The rule, published in the Federal Register Sept. 4, allows for some flexibility regarding which edition of certification criteria providers can use in 2014 but deviated very little from the proposed rule published in May.
To learn more:
- read the joint letter (.pdf)