Despite less than a year ago describing Stage 3 as “what everybody will be doing … in 2018 and beyond,” and declaring, as recently as this past October, that Stage 3 would proceed as planned, CMS looks to be changing its tune.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka, MD, said in a blog post a few months back that meaningful use has served its purpose.
“Stage 1 created a foundation of functionality for everyone. That was good,” he wrote. “Stage 2 tried to change too much too fast and required an ecosystem of applications and infrastructure that did not exist. Clinicians struggled to engage patients and exchange data because they could send payloads but there were few who could receive them. Stage 3 makes many of the same mistakes as Stage 2, trying to do too much too soon.”
Especially with so many new regulations coming from CMS, now could be good time to reconsider a the six-year-old program, he suggested.
“The layers of requirements in Meaningful Use, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, the Affordable Care Act, ICD-10 and (MACRA) are so complex and confusing that even government experts struggle to understand the implementation details,” Halamka wrote. “Each of the regulations leads to various audits. My experience is that even the auditors do not understand the regulatory intent and ask for documentation that far exceeds the capabilities of existing technology.”
I am going to anxiously await the next chapter!