HHS workgroup proposes easing requirements for meaningful use

We've been hearing for more than a month that some constituencies within HHS were interested in easing some of the requirements for meaningful use of EMRs. Now, the Health IT Policy Committee's workgroup on meaningful use is recommending that the agency do exactly that.

As the proposed requirements now stand, physicians and hospitals will have to meet 25 different measures to earn federal subsidies for EMRs in 2011 and 2012. But the workgroup now is suggesting that CMS drop drop as many as six of those measures that some see as onerous. "You can do things that are easy to measure, and you want to make sure it's done for some but not measures that force more manual labor," workgroup co-chair Dr. George Hripcsak said at a meeting last week, Government Health IT reports.

The other co-chair, Dr. Paul Tang, said that other Policy Committee workgroups are considering additional changes to the current proposal. He did not elaborate. The committee will take the recommendations from its workgroups and submit any proposed revisions to HHS by March 1. HHS is taking public comments on meaningful use through mid-March, and will finalize its regulations in the spring.

For more information:
- see this Government Health IT story