A Lack of Vendor Readiness
Turney said vendors are lagging far behind on Stage 2 EHR systems. She said there are more than 2,200 products and almost 1,400 "complete EHRs" certified under the 2011 criteria for ambulatory eligible professionals. However, there are only 75 products and 21 complete EHRs certified for the Stage 2 criteria, which goes into effect for physicians on Jan. 1, 2014.
"This lack of vendor readiness has significant implications for (eligible professionals). Without the appropriate software upgrades and timely vendor support, EPs will be unable to meet the Stage 2 requirements and thus will be unfairly penalized starting in 2015," Turney said.
"Those EPs who invested considerable resources in their Stage 1 certified EHR, many of them in small or rural clinical settings, are now in danger of falling behind. To avoid the Medicare payment adjustments, EPs would be required to 'rip and replace' their existing EHR with one certified for the Stage 2 criteria. This is an unrealistic and unreasonable demand as the cost to the practice would be prohibitive and the disruption to organizational workflow and patient care would be significant."