- Andy Slavitt, acting CMS administrator, told attendees Monday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference the "Meaningful Use program as it has existed, will now be effectively over and replaced with something better."
- In a series of tweets the same day, Slavitt listed four themes guiding Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) on technology in a post Meaningful Use-world.
- CMS will be providing more details on future health IT incentive programs on March 25, which Slavitt said would focus on patient outcomes instead of technology use.
The themes Slavitt mentioned included:
- Move away from rewarding use of technology towards outcomes;
- Allow doctors to customize goals around their practices so use-centered technology can be developed;
- Level the playing field with open APIs to allow apps, analytic tools, plug-ins, and to reduce EHR lock; and
- Harness interoperability that builds on use cases from physicians and patients and fights data blocking.
Slavitt said the MU program started when few physicians used EHRs and now that healthcare has been digitized, "It's time to make healthcare technology serve beneficiaries and the physicians who serve them." He acknowledged "physician burden and frustration levels are real. Programs that are designed to improve often distract." He added, "We have to get the hearts and minds of physicians back. I think we've lost them."
In 2016, MU as it has existed-- with MACRA-- will now be effectively over and replaced with something better #JPM16— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) January 12, 2016
You can read Slavitt's speech in full here.
Dr. James Madara, CEO of the American Medical Association, agreed with Slavitt's perspective on EHRs. He told Family Practice News, "It was really great to hear about the move from MU to a more aggregated program."
Russell Branzell, president and CEO of The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), responded to Slavitt's news in a statement emphasizing the group's advocacy for refinements to the MU program. "We continue to call upon federal regulators to, among other things, better align clinical quality measures and adopt enforceable standards."
Branzell concluded, "CHIME believes that it is essential that we create more synergy between MU requirements for hospitals and physicians if we are going to fully realize the potential that IT has in promoting better patient care across the country."