During a speech at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt suggested that significant changes are instore for the Meaningful Use program. In response to this news, CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell issued the following statement:
The Meaningful Use program has had a profound impact on the adoption of health information technology and furthering the digitization of the healthcare delivery system. CHIME members have long supported the underlying goals of the program and the industry has made significant progress in implementing IT systems to improve patient care, reduce costs and create a more efficient delivery system.
At the same time, CHIME has been at the forefront of advocating for refinements to the program to ensure that hospitals and physicians – can meet program requirements. We continue to call upon federal regulators to, among other things, better align clinical quality measures and adopt enforceable standards. We also believe that we need a laser-like focus on interoperability to improve health information exchange across the continuum of care. Central to that is finding a safe, accurate and private methodology for patient identification. Interoperable systems, a bigger focus on outcomes and less prescriptive use of how technology is used will better position providers for success in new payment and delivery models of care and ultimately benefit patients care.
We are encouraged that Acting Administrator Slavitt and CMS are open to improving the Meaningful Use program. It is important that we maintain momentum in digitizing healthcare. Robust IT systems are a cornerstone for achieving the Triple Aim – better population health, an improved patient experience and lower costs.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, along with other reforms being pursued by CMS, aim to dramatically shift healthcare toward value-based payment. Through these changes, we’ll see greater alignment between physicians and hospitals. CHIME believes that it is essential that we create more synergy between Meaningful Use requirements for hospitals and physicians if we are going to fully realize the potential that health IT has in promoting better patient care across the continuum.
We look forward to working with CMS as it begins to refine the Meaningful Use program.