Stage 3 will require 'substantial' investments from practices

'Meaningful use continuing forever'?
By Mike Miliard
10:45 AM
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Doctor with stack of money

As it has with other proposed rule-makings, CMS has touted the "flexibility" and "streamlined" nature of the new Stage 3 meaningful use regulations. Some physicians groups don't quite see things that way.

Upon looking over the new measures this past weekend, "I was struck by several things I was hoping would be framed differently," Peter Basch, MD, chair of the American College of Physicians' medical informatics committee told Frank Irving, editor of Healthcare IT News' sister site, Medical Practice Insider.

[See also: Reaction to Stage 3? Guarded]

While many had hoped this third go-round would see "a set of defined measures … phased out," Basch said. "It is disappointing to see that CMS is thinking of Stage 3 of meaningful use continuing forever with a set of process measures.

"We are setting up a situation where providers need to attend not only to delivering consistently excellent and value-laden care, but then checking themselves to make sure that what they did counted for the relevant meaningful use numerators," he said.

"They have kept in a number of the measures which frankly shouldn't be there," added Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor at the Medical Group Management Association. Whether it's stricter e-prescribing requirements or higher patient access thresholds, the upshot is that Stage 3 will "require a very substantial financial investment on the part of the practice," he said.

[See also: Practices buried under MU 'avalanche']

Read the rest of Frank Irving's analysis at Medical Practice Insider.