CMS Meaningful Use Debate and GAO Report Attracts Attention
The Government Accountability Office released a report this week that says the Meaningful Use rules implemented by CMS create complex system. They warn that this “complexity increases the risk that CMS will make improper Medicare and Medicaid payments relating to health IT.” In addition, the report addresses the lack of a CMS timeline to review CMS’ audit strategy for the Medicare HER program.
Some hospitals and doctors are objecting to a CMS proposal that will increase the efficiency of health IT, but vendors and consumer groups are pushing back. Meaningful Use Stage 2 wants to encourage the exchange of health information and data with an end goal to create in interoperable system. The American Hospital Association argues that “Taken as a whole, the proposed requirements for meeting stage two raise the bar too high and are not feasible for the majority of hospitals to achieve.”
Advocacy groups fear that AHA may have significant power of persuasion of CMS. Chris Bechtel of the National Partnership for Women and Families commented on this: “With the deadline looming, one of the powerhouses in the health care provider community has made public its displeasure with a number of the most robust and important patient-engagement criteria. In fact, leaders of this organization made their views known with such vehemence that their views should be characterized as hostility.”
Quoted in the CQ article referenced (“Debate Heating Up Over CMS Payments for Health IT”, CQ by John Reichard, May 3, 2012), the Health IT Now Coalition addressed this debate:
“The Health IT Now coalition says this is one of the few provisions in the stage two proposal that would begin laying the groundwork for the widespread sharing of medical information, which is critical to achieving IT’s potential for making care safer and more efficient, it adds.” (CQ)
“We believe these standards are achievable and that more must be done to promote the exchange of information to better coordinate patient care. We will encourage HHS to take steps in that direction.”
said Joel White, Executive Director of the Health IT Now Coalition.