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Internists Urge Postponement of Start of Meaningful Use Stage 3

Letter emphasizes modifications in EHR Incentive Program, PQRS and VBM programs that were unanticipated prior to MACRA passage

(Washington, May 28, 2015)- The American College of Physicians (ACP) today called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to take advantage of "the opportunity presented by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) by postponing the start of Stage 3."

The letter from Peter Basch, MD, MACP, chair of ACP's Medical Informatics Committee, also asked CMS to reconsider and rework Meaningful Use (MU) "along with the other components of the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and by extending the proposed Stage 2 modifications, as revised, until the new comprehensive program is ready to be implemented."

The three-page letter was submitted along with more than 60 pages of comments on the CMS Stage 3 EHR Incentive Program NPRM as part of the public comment process.

"Public health and clinical data registries should support the bidirectional exchange of health information with providers that is mutually beneficial for both parties involved," Dr. Basch noted in the letter. "As proposed, Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs) must collect and supply data to target agencies without receiving information in return, which amounts to clerical data entry rather than truly meaningful use. Patients and providers would benefit greatly from the availability of timely public health data."

Dr. Basch also pointed out that there are general competencies of EHR that pertain to safety, quality, value, and patient engagement that could take the place of prescriptive process measures. He listed four measures that could be developed with appropriate specialty and professional societies.

The letter concluded with an offer for ACP to be involved in regular opportunities for MU program updates.

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The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 141,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554
dkinsman@acponline.org