Congress joins growing chorus pressing for delay of meaningful use Stage 3

'Many are becoming disenchanted by the seemingly unrealistic expectations'
By Bernie Monegain
10:53 AM
Man holding up hand

Refrain from finalizing Meaningful Use Stage 3, wrote 100 members of Congress in a September 28 letter to Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

"We believe that additional time is necessary for the proper evaluation and optimization of implemented technology to insure the technology can ensure better quality care for all patients," Congress members wrote on House of Representatives letterhead from Renee L. Ellmers, a Republican who represents North Carolina's 2nd District.

"We believe that the Stage 3 rule should be paused as it should rely on proven technology – designed outside the limitations of current federal requirements – that can support a shift to outcomes and interoperability rather than measures and objectives," they added.

[Related: How does your EHR stack up? See our 2015 satisfaction survey results.]

The plea comes as the final rules for Stage 3 are with the OMB, where they arrived for final review and finalization on September 3.

The letter from Congress members adds to the requests for Stage 3 delay from others both inside and outside government.

On September 2, via a press statement, Sen. Lamar Alexander, D-Tenn., called for a delay of Stage 3 to 2017, as he had already done earlier, saying that the government, doctors, and hospitals needed time to do it right.

[See also: Delay Stage 3 meaningful use, senator urges again.]

Back in May, CHIME, a trade organization that represents more than 1,400 CIOs, called the Stage 3 rules "unworkable."

"While healthcare providers are committed to implementing EHRs, the letter from Congress members reads, " many are becoming disenchanted by the seemingly unrealistic expectations of the Meaningful Use Program. Unfortunately, the frustrations voiced by providers and policymakers regarding the systems deployed in over 80 percent of hospitals and physician offices are real."

[See also: CHIME: Stage 3 rules 'unworkable'.]