MGMA's concerns about EHR stimulus program

November 23, 2009

The MGMA today raised some concerns about how the EHR incentive program is implemented, and sent a letter of recommendations to Dr. David Blumenthal, National Health IT Coordinator.

The MGMA today raised some concerns about how the EHR incentive program is implemented, and sent a letter of recommendations to Dr. David Blumenthal, National Health IT Coordinator.

MGMA President and CEO William Jessee wrote, “We believe that an inappropriate definition of meaningful use and inefficient administration of the program will lead to failed implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and result in the needless squandering of resources and significant disruption to the nation’s healthcare system.” Meaningful use, he said, should be verifiable without creating undue burdens on practices.

MGMA listed a series of recommendations, including calling for a pilot test of the program and before each new phase of the program. Other recommendations include:
- only include criteria for meaningful use that have widespread industry use or have been tested
- have a process for physicians to test their reporting systems before going live
- avoid a pass/fail approach for achieving meaningful use
- monitor the vendor the industry to ensure it can produce high-quality, reasonably priced software

MGMA also called for more physician outreach, suggesting HHS develop a Web site with a FAQ section, toll-free numbers to provide information, Webinars for updates, and direct outreach to trade organizations.

What do you think about how HHS is handling the EHR incentive program guidance so far? For a complete primer on the EHR stimulus program, check out this article.