AHA urges HIT panel to study, address meaningful use issues
AHA News Now
Jan 14, 2013
The AHA today urged the Health Information Technology Policy Committee to recommend that the Department of Health and Human Services fund a comprehensive external study of progress toward meaningful use of electronic health records, and why the large majority of hospitals and physicians have yet to attest to meaningful use more than two years into the Medicare EHR incentive program. "We urge the HITPC to refrain from finalizing Stage 3 recommendations until it has reviewed the results of such an evaluation and can develop an implementation plan for Stage 3 that addresses the issues raised in Stage 1," AHA wrote, responding to a request for public comment on the committee's draft recommendations for Stage 3 meaningful use. The association also urged the panel to focus on its mandate to make recommendations for a nationwide health IT infrastructure. "Addressing the current limits to interoperability will bring far greater benefits than rushing into a definition for Stage 3 that is not built on lessons learned from Stage 1, let alone Stage 2," AHA wrote. The letter notes that the costs of EHRs are growing significantly at a time when policymakers are cutting Medicare payments.