Almost 50 concerned medical groups sent a collective letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of HHS, expressing their concern regarding the looming Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (“CEHRT”) implementation deadlines. While they thanked Secretary Sebelius for extending the start of Stage 3 of the CEHRT process until 2017, their more immediate concerns focused on the deadlines for Stage 2 – which is 2014 for all providers who had implemented Stage 1 by 2011 or 2012.
The letter highlighted the fact that the majority of medical records vendors have not updated their products to reflect 2014 standards, stating that “it is clear the pace and scope of change have outstripped the ability of vendors to support providers.” The provider groups also expressed concern that rushed adoption of new technologies could “jeopardize patient safety.”
About 5,000 hospitals and 550,000 medical professionals are required to adopt the 2014 Edition of CEHRT and meet a higher threshold of Meaningful Use criteria by the end of this year. Failure to do so means the loss of EHR incentive payments as well as the potential imposition of monetary penalties.