We have been hearing for quite some time the rally to push back the deadlines for Meaningful Use. Beginning with Stage 1, continuing with Stage 2, and now Stage 3. What is new on the horizon is a call for elimination of Meaningful Use Stage 3 entirely.
John Halamka, M.D., now chief information officer of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and formerly co-chair of the IT Health Standards committee, was critical of Stage 3 MU before it was finalized. Now that the final rule has been released, he states he would like to see it eliminated altogether. He cites the fact that only 12% of physicians have achieved MU Stage 2 while the deadline for MU 3 is fast approaching. Those not in compliance will incur penalties.
Dr. Hayward Zwerling is advocating for this action as well and in a recent blog he lists 25 reasons why MU3 should be abandoned. Among the 25 are: Patient care has not been enhanced with MU; it has created an onerous degree of busy work with no appreciable benefit to the delivery of patient care; no demonstrable benefit of the data that is laboriously required to be captured by those who are meant to be delivering patient care, and the cost of healthcare has not decreased, but rather increased.
What’s the likelihood of MU Stage 3 being eliminated? Given that the administration which launched these initiatives will be ending in a little more than a year from now, it is possible. The question is: will that be soon enough.
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