CMS asking too much from stage two of meaningful use, says AMA

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According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have set the standards required for demonstrating stage two meaningful use of medical informatics systems too high, reports Healthcare IT News.

Officials from the AHA agree in principal with the CMS’ and Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to encourage widespread and accelerated medical informatics adoption, but claim the requirements necessary to achieve stage two certification are too demanding for many healthcare facilities.

Rick Pollack, executive vice president of the AHA, said there was a growing disparity in adoption of medical informatics systems between urban and rural hospitals. He added that many smaller facilities have yet to achieve stage one of the CMS’ meaningful use initiative.

“Taken as a whole, the proposed requirements for meeting stage two raise the bar too high and are not feasible for the majority of hospitals to achieve,” said Pollack, as quoted by the news source. “Given the experience to date in stage one, the AHA is concerned that elements of the proposed rule for stage two would stand in the way of a successful program to support widespread adoption by all hospitals.”

Suggestions for improving the meaningful use program outlined by the AHA included the introduction of a 90-day reporting period during each stage, as well as the extension of each phase of the initiative to three years. AHA officials said such measures would ensure that hospitals can safely and efficiently migrate to each stage of the program without causing undue pressure on financial and healthcare IT infrastructure resources.

According to AHA News, as many as 80 percent of hospitals across the country have yet to demonstrate stage one of the meaningful use initiative due to an emphasis of regulatory compliance over hospital experience, accelerating costs and limited medical informatics vendor capacity.

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