HIT Policy Committee hears from critics of 'meaningful use' proposal

A short implementation timeline, a perceived lack of attention to specialists and, naturally, financial concerns, have critics beleiving that the federal stimulus won't be enough to convince many doctors adopt EMRs. At a two-day meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee that wrapped up yesterday, physicians in small practices, and who work in underserved communities, said that there are too many problems with the proposed definition of "meaningful use" of health IT for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to have its intended effect of increasing efficiency and boosting the quality of care.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists expressed the view that the requirements, as proposed in July, are not related to EMR adoption within its particular specialty. "The meaningful use measures for ARRA should determine whether a physician has met the objectives shown in the meaningful use matrix, not whether the EMR is being used to report clinical quality measures that rarely apply to that physician's patients," ACOG representative Dr. Albert L. Strunk testified, according to Healthcare IT News.

A hospital CEO from Nebraska said that the new EMR requirements would hinder an existing quality improvement strategy. Community hospitals, this witness said, also would like to see more specificity about interoperability to make sure the hospital can communicate electronically with independent physicians.

To learn more about the concerns expressed at the committee meeting:
- check out this Healthcare IT News story