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AMA, MGMA, 85 other medical groups urge CMS to reduce EHR and meaningful use burden on doctors

AMA, others also suggested that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Seema Verma loosen PQRS and value-based payment requirements.

Tom Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare IT News

The American Medical Association, the Medical Group Management Association and dozens of other healthcare organizations have called on that the federal government reduce the burden and penalties associated with EHRs, meaningful use, the Physician Quality Reporting System and Value-Based Payment Modifier.

"We urge the Administration to take a series of steps to address challenges in MU, PQRS and VM prior to their replacement by MACRA and minimize the penalties assessed for physicians who tried to participate in these programs," they wrote in a letter to newly-confirmed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma. "As directed by the 21st Century Cures Act, CMS must establish a strategy to relieve the electronic health record documentation burden."

[Also: Physicians, EHR vendors share burden in readying for MACRA]

The groups recommended that CMS create a new category within the existing hardship exemptions specifically for administrative burdens, not penalize eligible providers because of "arbitrary 'check the box' requirements" under meaningful use, and offer relief for providers impacted by these programs that predate MACRA. They also called for hardship exemptions for PQRS and the VBPM.

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"As indicated in the MACRA law and final regulations, policymakers in Congress and the Administration clearly understand that fair and accurate measurement of physicians' performance will not be possible until better tools become available," the groups wrote. "We also believe the steps we have outlined are in keeping with President Trump's efforts to reduce regulatory burden."

[Also: Trump HHS pick Tom Price decries government mandates from CMMI, reporting burdens during hearing]

In addition to AMA and MGMA, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Psychiatric Association, the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and 43 state medical societies were among those singing the letter to CMS.

This article first appeared in Healthcare IT News.

Twitter: @SullyHIT