Proposed House bill would roll back meaningful use stringent deadlines
A bill proposed Thursday by Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, would repeal the meaningful use requirement that the program increasingly grow more stringent.
In his testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee, Kaleida Health CIO Cletis Earle said these rules stifle innovation.
“As we stand now, more than eight years after passage of HITECH, there exists an opportunity to make policy decisions apart from the arbitrary deadlines and measures of the EHR Incentive Program,” Earle said.
“We are at an inflection point where our gains can be used to pivot towards the long-term goal of building and supporting a national digital health ecosystem that is interoperable and which best supports patient outcomes,” he said.
Earle stressed that while health technology has provided better care and insight to patient health, it’s the tight timelines and regulations of meaningful use stifling the continued development of health IT. As a result, many organizations faced negative payment adjustments.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that 43 percent, or 256,000, of Medicaid providers were subjected to negative payment adjustments under meaningful use in 2015, while 171,000 have received a payment adjustment in 2017.
“While EHR adoption has surpassed expectations and the vast majority of providers leverage a certified EHR to deliver care, many providers are still unable to comply with the requirements set forth by CMS in the meaningful use program,” said Earle.
“The escalated, staged approach adopted by CMS since the program’s inception has failed to acknowledge the timelines necessary to execute the requirements they adopt through rulemaking, which go far beyond what was included in the HITECH statue,” he added.
Earle explained that meaningful use should give providers time to keep up with the adoption of technology, with more “reasonable reporting requirements or timelines, rather than file for a hardship exemption.”