The federal government never seems to tire in its campaign to heap more useless requirements onto physicians' practices. Despite the hard work of the Texas Medical Association and organized medicine, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services insists on moving ahead with Stage 3 of the meaningful use electronic health record (EHR) incentive program.

"Now we've focused our efforts on the only body that can stop a federal bureaucrat: the U.S. Congress. Please write Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and your representative today and ask them to stop this costly intrusion into your practice," said TMA President Tom Garcia. Ask them to cosponsor and support: 

  • S 2141, the Transparent Ratings on Usability and Security to Transform Information Technology (TRUST IT) Act of 2015 by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.); and
  • HR 3309, the Flex-IT 2 Act, by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.). 

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"No federal program ever bore a more inaccurate name than 'meaningful use,'" Dr. Garcia said. "The convoluted and tedious requirements for physicians' use of EHRs are certainly not meaningful to doctors nor our patients. The combination of EHRs and federal regulations — neither of which were designed with the realities of medical practice in mind — leaves us clicking more but achieving less."

For many physicians, health information technology is too expensive and too disruptive to patient care, and actually prevents physicians and other health professionals from sharing patient data in a timely, secure manner.

That's why TMA is calling on Congress to enact legislation that provides positive incentives for physicians to acquire and maintain health information technology. Until EHR systems truly add value to medical care, TMA wants Congress to reform the program and eliminate federal mandates that compel physicians to engage in unnecessary activities and reporting.

Please use the TMA Grassroots Action Center for a quick and easy way to email Senators Cornyn and Cruz and your local representative. 

"Help TMA put the meaning back in medical practice," Dr. Garcia said,

Action, Nov. 2, 2015