CMS urged to quickly finalize proposal to ease 2014 EHR meaningful use

AHA News Now

AHA today urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to quickly finalize their proposal to expand the choice of certified electronic health record technology for 2014, without any changes that would narrow the proposed flexibility. “The flexibility offered in the proposed rule would support continued adoption of EHRs; without it, many providers are likely to conclude that they cannot meet meaningful use this year and abandon the program,” wrote Linda Fishman, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development. Because hospitals must decide how to meet meaningful use for fiscal year 2014 before the rule is finalized, “a final rule that narrows the proposed flexibility could unfairly cause significant financial and operational harm to hospitals,” Fishman said. AHA also urged the agencies to clarify and simplify how the rule would be implemented; give hospitals more flexibility in reporting electronic clinical quality measures; shorten the meaningful use reporting period for 2015; and learn from Stage 2 meaningful use before finalizing the start date for Stage 3.

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