Medical/Tech groups urge postponement of MU stage 3

According to an article on MedPageToday, leading medical groups have contacted the Department of Health and Human Services, requesting a delay in Meaningful Use Stage 3 implementation.

The medical groups state that many providers continue to struggle with MU Stage 1 and 2 implementation.

“Rather than prematurely impose Stage 3 requirements, HHS should first focus on improving the ability for physicians to achieve Meaningful Use Stage 1 and 2 requirements,” states the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The group requested that the implementation be delayed until 2017. Current regulations are scheduled to take effect in 2016.

Joining the chorus the HIMSS EHR Association submitted comments to HHS that noted their belief that the deadline for MU 3 not only needs to be pushed back but that a change in the focus of the regulations is also necessary. HIMSS believe it would be better to focus on interoperability and the full use of MU 2 requirements before additional technical capabilities mandated.

Clearly this is a legitimate debate to have. There is a real risk that meaningful use incentive payments could direct the development of EHR’ in a negative way by forcing the addition of features and functionality that were not added due to the demand/need of healthcare practitioners but instead were added simply to meet the regulatory requirements.  If this where to happen it would undermine the whole reason for the regulations in the first place- the meaningful use of EHR in particular and of healthcare information technology in general.