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CMS Gets an Earful on "Meaningful Use"

March 25, 2010

March 15 marked the end of the public comment period on CMS’ proposed interim rule on meaningful use and PQRI. Now CMS is sifting through the 2,700 written responses to qualify those that are relevant and make sure they are given due consideration. According to Tony Trenkle, director of the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services, some 2,000 of the comments have been read thus far.
Since the rule is classified as an ‘interim final rule,’ the government can only act upon recommendations that suggest refinements to issues already addressed in the original text.
Common Public Suggestions:

  • Lower the bar for providers, allowing more to qualify for incentives
  • Give additional clarification on the rule
  • Allow flexibility in adopting measures for meaningful use
  • Set some measures as core, some measures as optional
  • Reduce the number of measures or the threshold of the measures

According to CMS, the more specific the comments are, the more likely they are to be used to guide CMS and ONC as they craft the final version of the rules.
Now that the public has had a chance to weigh in on the proposed rule, we are one step closer to a definitive and final ruling from CMS. The final meaningful use criteria are a hot topic and are absolutely necessary to promote confidence in the adoption of any health IT system. Release dates for the final version should be announced soon.
Stay tuned to blog.DrFirst to remain up-to-date with meaningful use and other industry information.