Individuals commenting on the proposed rules for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use expressed many of the same concerns as the large groups representing them, according to Evan Steele, CEO of SRSsoft.
In a recent blog post, Steele pointed out that the "vast majority" of the 1,131 comments submitted were from individuals, not the powerhouses like the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association. The comments themselves, however, (perhaps not surprisingly) were similar. A random sampling of more than 250 comments submitted by individuals revealed more concerns than praise for the proposed rule, with many (40 percent) worried that the rule is too complex and too demanding.
Other concerns of individuals included the fact that the proposed rule holds physicians responsible for the actions of third parties, that the rule is still of limited applicability to specialists, and that there should be more exemptions. Still, there were favorable comments about some of the changes, such as the alignment of clinical quality measures
The biggest difference between institutional comments and those from individuals may be the tone of the comments. "Perhaps what is most interesting about the comments is the emotion and passion behind many of them--whether expressing favorable or unfavorable opinions," Steele noted.
The sheer number of comments, overall, indicates providers' fear that they won't be able to achieve Meaningful Use and avoid payment reductions that begin in 2015.