TMA Wants Meaningful Use Hardship Exception

TMA President Tom Garcia, MD, told U.S. Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.), in a letter that TMA supports his HR 3940, the Meaningful Use Hardship Relief Act of 2015. The bill authorizes a meaningful use significant hardship exception for the 2015 reporting period due to the delay in timely publication of the Stage 2 meaningful use rule. Support for HR 3940 is part of TMA's advocacy efforts to put the meaning back in meaningful use.

Congressman Price, an orthopedic surgeon, chairs the House Budget Committee.

"Since inception of the meaningful use program, TMA has studied rules, developed resources, educated physicians, listened to complaints, advocated for improvements, and tracked results," Dr. Garcia wrote in a letter also sent to the entire Texas delegation in Congress. He added that "the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has disregarded stakeholders frequently," citing the late release of the 2015-17 modification rule as "a prime example of this disregard." 

"Physician practices and the health care industry cannot be expected to turn on a dime, especially when regulatory changes are rolled out during a required reporting period," the letter states.

TMA is calling on Congress to enact legislation that provides positive incentives for physicians to acquire and maintain health information technology. Until electronic health record (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. 

On a side note, physician and rapper Zubin Damania, MD, known as ZDoggMD, released a video that starkly presents physician attitudes toward EHRs. Take a moment to enjoy his perspective. The video was created in collaboration with EHR vendor athenahealth. Dr. Damania was the keynote speaker at TMA's 2014 annual meeting.

If you have questions about EHRs and meaningful use, contact TMA's Health Information Technology Department by email or by calling (800) 880-5720.

Action, Dec. 1, 2015

Last Updated On

June 13, 2016