ONC Wants To Make Meaningful Use More Flexible, Less Prescriptive

June 19, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, Jacob Reider, deputy national coordinator and chief medical officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, said that the agency wants to make the meaningful use program more flexible and less focused on providers meeting a specific set of clinical quality measures, Modern Healthcare reports.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 6/18).

Reider’s Comments

Reider made his comments at the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems’ annual Physician-Computer Connection Symposium.

During his remarks, Reider said that ONC would “like to shift towards measurement and improvement and away from measures and standards” in order to enable continuous and minimally disrupted performance improvement among health care providers (Hagland, Healthcare Informatics, 6/18).

Reider said the meaningful use Stage 1 criteria were “put together very quickly with the best of intentions,” but he acknowledged widespread complaints about how those requirements were taking time and resources away from providers’ other health IT and care quality improvement efforts (Modern Healthcare, 6/18). He said, “We’d like to support you in improving the quality of care in your organizations, rather than focusing on the reporting of specific clinical quality measures” (Healthcare Informatics, 6/18).

Reider said ONC is still determining how to implement such a policy shift and is open to provider input.

He said, “This is going to take us a while to make this turn, but it is a very important turn” (Modern Healthcare, 6/18).

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