Texas Medical Association: MU is 'convoluted and tedious'

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 - Frustrated Doc

The Texas Medical Association (TMA), the largest state medical society, has called on Congress to put an end to the “convoluted and tedious” federal regulations that are part of Meaningful Use (MU).

Physicians say MU interferes with patient care, according to TMA.

“Meaningful Use started out as a well-intentioned attempt to give physicians incentives to adopt electronic health records,” TMA President Tom Garcia, MD, said in a letter to Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and the Texas delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives. “No federal program ever bore a more inaccurate name than ‘Meaningful Use.’ It’s no surprise that physicians around the country have begun calling it ‘Meaningless Abuse.’

“The convoluted and tedious electronic health records requirements are certainly not meaningful to doctors nor our patients,” Garcia added. EHRs and MU regulations weren’t designed with the realities with medical practice in mind, he wrote. Providers are “clicking more but achieving less.”

The letter asked the Texans in Congress to cosponsor and support two bills:

  • 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.)  
  • HR 3309, the Flex-IT 2 Act, by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) 

“We believe Congress must enact legislation that provides positive incentives for physicians to acquire and maintain health information technology,” Garcia wrote. “Until electronic health records truly add value to medical care and can seamlessly interact with other systems, we want Congress to reform the program and eliminate federal mandates that compel physicians to engage in unnecessary activities and reporting.

“Help us put real meaning back into medical practice,” Garcia added.