AAFP launches platform for members to demand Stage 3 delay

Online tool makes it easier for physicians to 'Speak Out' against meaningful use
By Jessica Davis
10:42 AM
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Megaphone and whistle

The American Academy of Family Physicians launched an IT tool to make it easier for its doctor members to demand Congress "hit pause" on Stage 3 meaningful use. The Speak Out platform directly connects family physicians to their representatives.

Much to the frustration of many physicians, CMS issued its final rules on Stage 3 MU at the beginning of this month. The agency did include a 60-day comment period, however, asking for industry feedback.

More than 1,900 Academy members have asked Congress to halt Stage 3, as many are still mired in the requirements for Stage 2. The changes, they argue, place a great financial burden on family practices and reduce the ability to maintain high-quality patient care standards.

"Today, we find ourselves at a pivotal point in the health care transformation process, and it is essential that we make choices that facilitate transformation and avoid those that present obstacles," an AAFP message to legislators said.

"The meaningful use program has departed from its original goals and has devolved into a clunky and complicated process, undermined by interoperability, growing administrative burdens and unrealistic incentive requirements," it continued.

The message to legislators demands the delay of Stage 3 to refocus MU on improving patient care, rather than just of increasing the difficulties for practices to comply with the program.

The physician messages could be expected to be received positively by Congress, where more than 100 House members asked for a delay just before the final rule was issued, and key Senators have also expressed deep skepticism about the program.