House lawmakers urge for delay and 'refocus' of MU Stage 3

Calls for Meaningful Use Stage 3 to be delayed are growing, with more than 100 House lawmakers adding their voices to the din.

In a letter to Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, 116 congressional leaders ask for a delay in finalizing Stage 3 and ask them to "work to refocus the program to better serve patients and the providers who care for them."

The lawmakers--led by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Georgia Reps. Tom Price (R) and David Scott (D)--add that Stage 3 should be paused because it needs to rely on proven technology "that can support a shift to outcomes and interoperability rather than measures and objectives."

They also say Stage 3 makes problematic policies in MU Stage 2 even worse. The measure should be delayed, they write, until a "rigorous" look at participation in Stage 2 has been conducted.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has also called for a delay of Stage 3 until 2017.

"Our goal is to help patients," Alexander said at a Senate committee meeting. "It does not help them to do this fast and wrong. It does help them to do it deliberately, carefully and right."

Donovan and Burwell also received letters earlier this month about delaying the next stage from the American Medical Association and 41 medical societies.

In those letters, the provider groups relayed that they are "extremely concerned" with the current direction of the Meaningful Use program and are "extremely dismayed" at reports that the rule implementing Stage 3 has been combined with the rule softening some of the requirements of the program for 2015-2017, known as the modifications or alterations rule.

Just a few days after the rules were released in March, providers were already voicing concerns about Stage 3. 

To learn more:
- here's the letter (.pdf)