Bill Spooner comments on the proposed stage 2 MU rules

05/3/2012

We can draw an interesting analogy to the U.S. tax codes from this report: I file my tax return, following the rules set down by the IRS. I report my income from all sources, identify allowable deductions and exemptions, and calculate the resulting "fair share." Some time after filing the return, it becomes public that my effective tax rate was less than 10%. (No, that was Apple, and the GAO apparently forgot to check on them.)

Three immediate messages are clear. First, the provider will attest based on the CMS regulations, including the allowed exemptions, or loopholes. Second, the provider should expect to be audited in some fashion and must be prepared to substantiate the chosen measures. Finally, another federal agency, in this case the GAO, will criticize the provider for following the rules. I will ignore this last message, except in looking ahead to stage 2.

Only a few days remain before the May 7 deadline for submitting comments on the proposed stage 2 meaningful use and 2014 EHR certification and standards regulations. CHIME and other organizations have filed comments this week, reflecting the most common concerns of their membership. These letters serve as a great template for crafting my individual letter emphasizing the points most important to my organization. It is my opportunity to limit the obstacles in meeting stage 2 requirements. Perhaps there will be a loophole that works for me!

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