Varied Reactions from Healthcare Leaders on New MU Rules

The CMS and ONC released the much-anticipated final meaningful use rules, EHR certification criteria and a final interoperability roadmap. The roadmap would push towards a data-rich learning health system that is continuously improving upon itself. The new rules represent a significant jump in a national effort to enhance interoperability and improve consumer access to health data.

One of the more notable parts of this news was CMS' plans for a 60-day public comment period to gain more feedback about meaningful use going forward especially with regard to moving incentive programs into a more workable framework. The final MU rules are not much different from the proposed rules, but the thresholds have been reduced, which is a good thing from a provider perspective.  
Meanwhile, the American Medical Association recently launched a campaign, Break the Red Tape, where physicians frustrated with "EHR designs (focused) on meeting government-imposed MU objectives" can share their comments and concerns. The extra public comment period for stage 3 will enable providers, CMS and other stakeholders to ensure that the next stage of Meaningful Use advances interoperability and takes into account new payment models. The AMA still thinks the rule for Stage 3 needs "significant changes" to be workable, and urged CMS to use the public comment period to improve the program and consider various changes.

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