MGMA suggests bar too high for practices to earn government incentive

December 18, 2009

The Medical Group Management Association suggests that government officials need to ease requirements for incentives related to meaningful use within medical practices.

The Medical Group Management Association believes the evolving definition of "meaningful use" – the criteria medical practices must meet to earn a $44,000 incentive from the government for the use of electronic health records - will be too difficult to achieve unless officials ease the requirements.

William Jessee, MD, president and CEO of MGMA, warned in late November that "inappropriate definition of meaningful use and inefficient administration of the [incentive] program will lead to failed implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and result in the needless squandering of resources and significant disruption to the nation care system." Jessee included the caution in a letter to David Blumenthal, MD, national coordinator for health information technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In the letter to Blumenthal, Jessee recommended more than a dozen changes for the "meaningful use" definition. He wrote that the changes would make the criteria more achievable without "creating an undue burden on clinicians and physician practices."