Many physicians—specialists in particular—will not participate in the federal electronic health-record adoption incentive program because it requires them to include patient data that they do not otherwise collect, according to a Feb. 25 letter from 39 medical organizations (PDF) letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
AMA to ONC: EHR program doesn't work for docs
"From both a clinical and legal standpoint, physicians will be reluctant to take part in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive program if they are being required to record data in their EHRs that they typically do not collect or that is not relevant to their scope of practice or the services that they provide to their patients," wrote the physician advocate groups, among them the American Medical Association.
The barriers to physician participation will only grow, according to the letter, as proposed new criteria for meaningful use of EHR systems, which clinicians must meet to qualify for federal incentive payments, require the use of not-yet-available IT infrastructure and tools for sharing patient information among clinicians.
The physician groups recommended several changes to the proposed regulations, including the addition of an "exclusion option" that would allow clinicians to opt out of a measure that the groups say has "little relevance to the physician's routine practice" and still receive the federal subsidy.
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