AMA seeks to remedy 'cumbersome' Stage 2 rules

Arguing that changes "are necessary to ensure that the meaningful use program lives up to its intended purpose," the American Medical Association on Monday submitted its comments on proposed Stage 2 criteria to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

Joined by 98 state and specialty medical societies, the AMA sought more flexibility in its formal comments on the proposed rules for Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs.

Citing the "technological and other challenges" many doctors are experiencing as they work to meet meaningful use, AMA officials offered suggestions for "synchronizing the multiple health IT and quality programs currently underway" in a bid to drive up physician participation.

[See also: AMA mounts campaign to halt ICD-10.]

“The AMA is supportive of widespread adoption and meaningful use of EHRs by physicians, but the cumbersome proposed criteria will make successful physician participation extremely difficult,” said AMA Board Chair-elect Steven J. Stack, MD.

“Due to physicians’ limited ability to exchange data with other healthcare partners, many of the proposed Stage 2 measures will require extensive manual data entry, which is not an efficient way of practicing medicine or improving quality care outcomes for patients,” he added.

In order too make the Stage 2 more achievable, the AMA's comment letter made the following recommendations: