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CMS Chief: Meaningful Use Will Likely End in 2016

January 13, 2016

Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt told attendees at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week that the Meaningful Use program would end this year to be "replaced with something better" in accordance with Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. MARCA was passed in 2015, which repealed the failed SGR and instructed CMS to combine EHR benchmark and physician quality reporting programs into more singular entities.

Slavitt said the yet-to-be-named program to replace Meaningful Use, which CMS will detail more on March 25, would focus on patient outcomes instead of technology, including:

Moving away from rewarding use of technology towards outcomes;

  • Allowing doctors to customize goals around their practices so use-centered technology can be developed;
  • Leveling the playing field with open APIs to allow apps, analytic tools, plug-ins, and to reduce EHR lock; and
  • Harnessing interoperability that builds on use cases from physicians and patients and fights data blocking.

Slavitt acknowledged "physician burden and frustration levels are real. Programs that are designed to improve often distract. We have to get the hearts and minds of physicians back. I think we've lost them."


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