Karen S. Ferguson
(703) 838-0033 ext. 349
28 February 2011
AMGA Comments on Preliminary Meaningful Use Stage Two Objectives
ALEXANDRIA, VA-The American Medical Group Association (AMGA), a trade association representing multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care, today released its comments on a request for information from the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) on its preliminary proposals for Stage 2 Meaningful Use objectives. "Meaningful use" is the term of art used to describe the actions necessary to allow participants to receive incentive payments for implementation of electronic medical records, as stipulated in the "stimulus" law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The comments were due February 25, and submitted the day before.
The purpose of this information-gathering exercise was to allow the public to offer insights to the HITPC, which in turn will offer suggestions to inform the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that will promulgate rules governing the next phase, Stage 2, of the meaningful use requirements.
AMGA emphasized the need for further detail on several of the proposed objectives, the need to scale back some of the more aggressive requirements so that they are attainable, and the importance of using definitions that are consistent with those commonly used in healthcare delivery. In addition, AMGA took the opportunity to express concern that the timetables involved may not allow enough time for the vendor community to respond appropriately with upgraded products, nor allow eligible professionals enough time to implement and train on these products.
Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA's president and chief executive officer, said, "AMGA members have been early adopters of electronic medical records and other electronic documentation/communications infrastructure. Our remarks incorporated perspectives and concerns we gathered from of our members, which offer the benefit of real-world perspectives to the regulators. We hope that they heed our comments and cautions in the constructive spirit in which they were drafted. We support promulgation of electronic infrastructure as a key component of improved healthcare delivery, but we want the process to be timed and implemented in a broadly attainable fashion."
The full text of the AMGA comments letter can be accessed by clicking here.
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) represents medical groups, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to improve health care for patients by supporting multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care. The members of AMGA deliver health care to approximately 110 million patients in 49 states, nearly 1 in 3 Americans. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for medical groups, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs and publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance. www.amga.org