House Republican Leaders Send Letter to HHS Criticizing Meaningful Use
Earlier today, several House Republican leaders sent a letter to the Secretary of HHS urging a “change in the course of direction” for the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (meaningful use). Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of Ways and Means; Rep. Wally Herger, chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health; Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of Energy and Commerce; and Joe Pitts, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, co-signed the letter.
Republicans argued the bar for meaningful use was set too low by regulators and that interoperability problems continue to be prevalent despite the federal government’s investment in HIT. The letter urged HHS to suspend meaningful use incentive payments and delay the future penalties until universal interoperability standards are promulgated. The letter also called for significantly increased requirements for physicians and providers, and elimination of business practices that bar electronic health information exchange.
Interestingly, the letter compared CMS’ proposed rule from late 2009-early 2010 to the September 2012 final rule without acknowledging the July 2010 final rule that resulted from that original rulemaking process.