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Hospital group opposes 'meaningful use' quality improvement targets

Article

The Federation of American Hospitals sent a letter to federal health IT officials asking them to drop "meaningful use" proposals that would require healthcare providers to meet quality improvement targets in order to qualify for federal incentive payments.

The Federation of American Hospitals sent a letter to federal health IT officials asking them to drop “meaningful use” proposals that would require healthcare providers to meet quality improvement targets in order to qualify for federal incentive payments.

The president of FAH, Charles Kahn, sent the letter to David Blumenthal, MD, National Coordinator for Health IT, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Jonathan Blum, Director of the Center for Medicare Management, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The federal economic stimulus package allows hospitals and physicians who demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic health records to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments. However, to meet those requirements, the Health IT Policy Committee is recommending that healthcare providers meet certain quality improvement targets.

FAH argues that these recommendations go beyond the scope of the stimulus law, and that the law requires providers only to report quality measures rather than meet certain targets.

According to the letter, linking incentive payments to outcome measures poses problems for health IT adoption, rendering the measures “counterproductive.”

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