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CMS Administrator: Meaningful Use Likely to End in 2016

By: Nextech | January 14th, 2016

CMS Administrator: Meaningful Use Likely to End in 2016 Blog Feature

Meaningful Use - as we know it - will no longer exist, according to the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt.Compliance on Green Puzzle on White Background.

"Now that we effectively have technology into virtually every place care is provided, we are now in the process of ending Meaningful Use and moving to a new regime culminating with the MACRA implementation," Slavitt said.

"The Meaningful Use program as it has existed, will now be effectively over and replaced with some better," he added.

The announcement came on Monday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Details are expected to be released over the coming months. Currently, the Meaningful Use program incentivizes medical providers for their use of technology. Slavitt expressed a desire to move away from that kind of program and build one that focuses primarily on achieving good patient outcomes and allowing practices to customize objectives so that their technology can be built around the individual practice needs.

RELATED: Read the full transcript of Andy Slavitt's comments

"Technology must be user-centered and support physicians, not distract them," Slavitt explained.

As a tertiary objective, Slavitt also discussed leveling the technology playing field for start-up companies.

"We are requiring open APIs in order so the physician desktop can be opened up and moved away from the lock that early EHR decisions placed on physician organizations so that allow apps, analytic tools, and connected technologies to get data in and out of an EHR securely.

As recent as this past fall, medical organizations were calling for a delay in Meaningful Use Stage 3, claiming the third stage was being pushed too quickly and not reflecting important changes from MACRA. AMA vice president and CEO James L. Madara agreed with Slavitt's remarks at the confernece.

“What we learned from our own studies and studies with others is physicians are motivated by patient care and they’re motivated by things they believe in,” Madara said. “If they’re asked to do box checking on process measures that they don’t think have an evidence base, it really deteriorates the relationship with the system between the physician community and the regulators.”

As more details emerge, we'll be sure to keep you updated.