EHR 'Meaningful Use' Criteria Blasted

CIO group calls for revamp of federal incentive program
EHR 'Meaningful Use' Criteria Blasted
An association of healthcare CIOs has prepared a lengthy, harsh critique of proposed rules for the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive program.

The group advocates substantial revisions in the criteria for the incentives, which were created by the HITECH Act, as well as a much less aggressive timetable for achieving the requirements.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, which represents 1,400 CIOs and other IT executives, criticizes what it portrays as the government's proposed "all or nothing" approach to achieving "meaningful use" of EHRs to qualify for incentive payments. Its letter to federal regulators says the proposed rule "don't take into account the need for flexibility by providers and does not reward incremental progress."

Security concerns

The meaningful use criteria, as proposed, would require hospitals and physicians to provide patients with an electronic copy of their records. CHIME expresses strong concerns about this requirement, asking for more specific information about the format of the electronic data.

"The use of portable media, such as a USB device, presents security problems for hospitals. Securing PHI on portable media could require the patient to have advanced computing capabilities to access the information at home. In addition, introducing portable media can compromise the security of the hospital's information systems."

Federal officials are accepting comments on the proposed meaningful use criteria, unveiled Dec. 30, until March 15.

The HIT Policy Committee, a federal advisory panel, recently recommended certain delays in the proposed timetable for achieving meaningful use criteria.

To read CHIME's letter, click here.


About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.




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