Niam Yaraghi: MU Stage 3 too dependent on actions of others

The third stage of the Meaningful Use program could leave even tech-savvy providers unable to meet requirements, as they must depend on the health IT adoption of others, says Niam Yaraghi, a fellow at the Brooking Institution's Center for Technology Innovation.

Stage 3 of Meaningful Use requires that providers send electronic summaries for patients they refer to other providers, receive summaries for patients referred to them and reconcile former patient data with newer reports, Yaraghi writes at U.S. News and World Report. However, if other providers do not have the ability to send or receive those summaries, which is required to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2, the second and third requirement of Stage 3 cannot be completed, he says.

In addition, the rule requires that providers ask new patients to say who their previous physicians were in order to obtain the care summaries, which "ignores that fact that in many critical instances patients are unable to recall all the medical providers whom they have previously visited," Yaraghi says.

"Given the distance between the proposed rules of the Meaningful Use program and the reality of the healthcare market, the program's success should be considered a miracle," he writes. "Even if this miracle happens, we will not achieve much in terms of quality or efficiency in the healthcare system."

This isn't the first time Yaraghi has sounded off against against the program. He also recently slammed Stage 2, saying it forces physicians to adopt and use a one-size-fits-all program "destined to fail."

And he isn't the only critic of the third and final stage of the program. The American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association, among others, are calling for a delay to the rule.

AMA says the program "will create significant challenges for physicians, patients, and vendors." In addition, MGMA says Stage 3 could result in a failure to meet the goals outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It should be delayed, MGMA says, until it is known what the impact of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 will be.

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