Industry Responds to Final Rules for Stage 3 Meaningful Use

Stage 3 Meaningful UseCMS has released the long awaited Final Rule for stage 3 meaningful use that incorporates modifications for the 2015 reporting period. The ONC has released the companion Rule for the 2015 Edition of Certified EHR Technology. The CMS new rule outlines meaningful use moving forward to 2018 including modifications for provider attesting in 2015. Like everything in life you can’t please everyone. Here is what we are hearing.

HIMSS, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
and largest advocate for health IT vendors issued a short press release. It states they “appreciates the continued efforts of CMS and ONC to simplify and provide flexibility for meeting the Meaningful Use program requirements. We support the confirmation of the 90-day reporting period for 2015. Further, we support the emphasis placed on January 1, 2018 – the start of the period where providers are required to meet Stage 3 objectives and measures.”

The American Medical Association released their statement, Meaningful Use Regulations Represent Progress, But More Work To Be Done. They believe CMS and ONC listened to the AMA and the concerns of physicians in several key areas in the modifications rule. Unlike the patient advocate groups they were in favor of the roll back of the patient engagement measure. They continue to voice their opinion on the need for significant changes in Stage 3.

Rick Pollack, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association responded to the rules as “a mixed bag for hospitals and health systems and the patients they serve.” With a nod to the modified period in 2015 not so positive for stage 3 stating, “the simultaneous release of the final rule implementing Stage 3, which will be required beginning January 1, 2018, is deeply disappointing.”

The National Partnership and the Consumer Partnership for eHealth released a statement titled, Stakeholders Must Work Together to Make Patients and Families True Partners in Improving Health, Ness Urges, as Administration Issues Final Rule for Meaningful Use Incentive Program, in response to the rule. Disappointed in the proposed roll back of patient engagement measure, they continue to speak out as the final rule stayed with the change.

1700 strong, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. CHIME Board of Trustees Chair Charles E. Christian, CHCIO, LCHIME, FCHIME represented the group with a formal statement upon release of the rules. Rallying with CMS that it is time to focus the Meaningful Use program on adoption of information technology systems that improve both the quality and safety of patient care. And they were a strong supporter of the 90 day reporting period for 2015 which did make in the 2015 Modified Objectives. But they are still looking for more hardship exemption opportunities.