American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

ASPS to ONC: Reduce Health IT Burdens

ASPS partnered with the Alliance of Specialty Medicine (ASM) and the Physician Clinical Registry Coalition (PCRC) to provide feedback to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology on its recently released draft strategy to reduce burdens associated with the use of electronic medical records and other health IT systems. The strategy, developed in a partnership between the ONC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was required as part of the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. ASPS supported the Cures Act and its goal of accelerating and modernizing medical product development and innovation.

Based on input received from clinicians, this "burden reduction" strategy includes a focus on reducing the time and effort required to record health information into Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and meet regulatory reporting requirements.

However, at the time of its release, the document did not include plans for streamlining prior authorizations or ways to ensure mechanisms are in place for reporting patient safety and adverse events while holding providers harmless from liability due to functionality and usability of EHRs. In a comment letter submitted with the assistance of the ASM, the ONC was taken to task for this oversight and urged to work with CMS to also develop a less structured reporting of the MIPS promoting interoperability component rather than the current system of required measures.

Additionally, working with the PCRC, ASPS called out ONC for failing to acknowledge the value of clinical data registries and the role they can play in reducing administrative burden. The comment letter also encouraged CMS to provide full credit to MIPS clinicians who use an EHR to participate in a qualified clinical data registry.

The ONC is currently reviewing all comments received and has indicated a final version of their strategy will be published in late 2019.