Meaningful Use Measures May Be Reduced

Posted by: EHR Analyst

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Members of a federal health IT advisory group last week proposed to relax the number of measures that will be required for healthcare providers to demonstrate "meaningful use" of electronic health record systems.

The Health & Human Service Department's meaningful use workgroup crafted an approach they said strikes a "middle ground" between too few and too onerous a set of measures of meaningful use necessary to qualify providers for financial incentives under HHS's health IT adoption plan.

The workgroup, which reports to HHS's Health IT Policy Committee, proposed that physicians and hospitals could drop up to six meaningful use measures for 2011.

That would still require providers to meet about 80 percent of the measures of meaningful use originally proposed, said Dr. George Hripcsak, the co-chair of the workgroup and a biomedical informatics professor at Columbia University.

Altogether healthcare providers must perform 25 different measures of meaningful use objectives such as e-prescribing and computerized physician order entry, based on proposed rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid published last month.

But some healthcare providers say the number of measures for 2011 is too burdensome and that "the bar is set too high," according to work group members at a meeting Feb. 12.

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