ACR urges restraint before finalizing stage 3 MU rules

The American College of Radiology (ACR), like other professional healthcare organizations, has recommended to the U.S. government that the meaningful use (MU) financial incentive program be evaluated before stage 3 requirements are issued.

In a letter dated January 14, 2013, to the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), ACR expressed its concern about proposed stage 3 policy recommendations being finalized in May 2013. The organization pointed out that this date would not allow ONC to benefit from hospital and physician feedback regarding stage 2 of the program.

ACR recommended that the ONC Health IT Policy Committee initiate discussions about the stage 2 rules published in September 2012, with the goal of identifying issues that would benefit from additional guidance from the agency.

The organization also said that regulatory requirements need to be more flexible for medical specialists who are not primary care physicians. Flexibility is needed with respect to workflow, data, and technology. One option is to develop optional or substitute meaningful use pathways for certain specialists. In addition, a smaller set of menu items could be developed for specialists such as radiologists.

Along with detailed comments about specific items of the stage 3 proposed rules, which can be read here, ACR also urged ONC to incorporate more patient care data generated by radiology services.

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