Stark, Levin voice concerns that ‘meaningful use’ rule excludes some university hospitals

Joining the hospital lobby, Reps. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) and Pete Stark (D-Calif.) on Tuesday expressed concerns that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) newly unveiled “meaningful use” rule governing medical technology excludes individual hospitals operating within multi-campus university systems.

Levin, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, applauded the overall guideline, saying it offers a good balance between nudging providers to adopt new technologies and recognizing their limitations at this early stage in the process. 

“Except for the outstanding issue relating to the multi-campus system,” Levin said in a statement, “the rule issued today will help improve the quality of care and coordination among providers, both of which are critical to efforts to reform the delivery system.”

Stark, who chairs the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, issued a similar message, vowing to use next week’s subpanel hearing on the rule to examine how Congress can tackle the multi-campus issue.  

Earlier in the day, the American Hospital Association (AHA) voiced similar concerns about the multi-campus exclusion. “Hospitals within a health care system should each be eligible for incentives,” AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said in a statement.

Stark’s hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday at 1 p.m. Witnesses have not yet been announced.