AMA Weighs in on Meaningful Use

The AMA has finally weighed in on the meaningful use final rule and it’s not a glowing recommendation for meaningful use and the changes that were made. Here’s a short summary from the Wall Street Journal healthcare blog.

Now, after “careful review,” the AMA is weighing in. In a memo [PDF] to its board of trustees, the group’s CEO, Michael Maves, says that while “the Administration did move on several points, the [AMA] believes that it will be challenging for many physicians to participate successfully in the program. This will be especially true for those physicians in solo or small group practices who have not previously utilized an EHR.” (That refers to an electronic health record — the Health Blog has traditionally used “electronic medical record.” Tomatoes, tomahtoes.)

The AMA had pressed for reducing the number of criteria physicians needed to meet in order to get the first round of incentives from the original mandated 25 to a choice of any five of those. The final requirements include a “core” group of 15 requirements; providers must choose an additional five from the remaining items. That “is still too high,” the group says.

In addition, the group says no currently available EMR does everything that docs will need to do to meet the requirement — though products should be available this fall — making it tough to ramp up before the beginning of the incentive program. Also included on the list of what the AMA calls “remaining challenges”: high threshold requirements for many of the requirements, a lack of focus on how usable the systems are and the absence of an appeals process for docs if they are declared ineligible for incentives.