Concerns About the Meaningful Use Program Highlight Policies Adopted by AMA House of Delegates

November 20, 2015
Health Policy

his week the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HoD) met to deliberate a number of policies at the 2015 Interim Meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia. During the meeting, attended by AMDA Delegate Eric Tangalos, MD, CMD, Alternate Delegate Rajeev Kumar, MD, CMD, and Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Alex Bardakh, MPP, the AMA HoD adopted a number of policies ranging from public health issues to physician value-based purchasing programs. Highlighting the list of policy directives to the AMA were resolutions asking the AMA to “seek exemptions from Meaningful Use penalties due to lack of interoperability or decertified EHRs” as well advocate to “suspend all Meaningful Use penalties by insurers, both public and private.” As requirements for EHR move forward in the newly created physician payment formula known as the Medicare Incentive Payment System (MIPS), MU requirements have come under heavy scrutiny in recent months. The AMA HoD asked the AMA to “enhance efforts to accelerate the development and adoption of universal enforceable EHR interoperability standards for all vendors before the implementation of penalties associated with MIPS.”

AMDA has also echoed the AMA’s call for changes in the MU program. In its comments to CMS on both the MU Stage 3 requirements and the development of MIPS, AMDA has asked for the removal of skilled nursing facility (SNF) and nursing facility (NF) encounters from the MU program (see above link for comments).

Maintenance of Certification

The AMA HoD adopted several policies aimed to address recent concerns with the maintenance of certification process. Resolution 911, adopted by the HoD, called for the AMA to “oppose those maintenance of certification programs administered by the specialty boards of the ABMS, or of any other similar physician certifying organization, which do not appropriately adhere to the Principles codified as AMA Policy on Maintenance of Certification.” Further the AMA HoD elected to refer for study a resolution on alternative pathways for board certification. The study will: 1) review alternative pathways to board recertification that can assist physician credentialing and recredentialing by entities such as medical staffs, hospitals, employers and third party payers; and 2) support alternative mechanisms for board recertification which are determined to be equivalent in quality to established recertification pathways. The report will be presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the HoD.

To view a complete recap of the meeting, click here.