Radiology-specific objectives and measures should be incorporated into Meaningful Use requirements, stipulates a position paper approved by the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) at its June board meeting in New Orleans.
The paper details Meaningful Use-related challenges for radiologists, including:
- The unlikelihood that most RIS/PACS products meet the regulatory definition of “certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.”
- The pursuit, by many hospitals, of eligible hospital (EH) certification without regard to the needs of their eligible professionals (EPs).
- The fact that the vast majority of core- and menu-set objectives and clinical quality measures, as currently written, are not relevant to the specialty of radiology.
Also outlined in the paper are RBMA’s recommendations for modifying Meaningful Use criteria and requirements. Among these recommendations, the association advocates:
- Removing the comprehensiveness requirement so that technology can be certified only for the objectives with which EPs must comply. This would eliminate the need for the technical functionality for objectives from which EPs are excluded. The e-prescribing function would constitute one example for the majority of radiologists, the paper’s authors note.
- Requiring hospitals to certify for general, inpatient, and—rather than or--ambulatory criteria. This would allow EPs to use an eligible hospital’s certified EHR technology in order to qualify for Meaningful Use.
- Including radiology-specific objectives and measures so that radiologists may qualify for the funds in a way that is clinically relevant to their unique role in patient care.
“Unless the Meaningful Use program is constructed in a manner that is consistent with the above recommendations, compliance would be difficult and unduly burdensome,” the authors conclude. “Consequently radiologists and other specialists should not be subject to payment penalties starting in 2015.”
—Julie Ritzer Ross