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MU Slides into Summer of Discontent

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, July 8, 2014

Regulatory Chains
Folks, if the COO of the top dog in the EHR food chain, at a company swollen with much of the $23 billion handed out in meaningful use incentive payments, is feeling like he is dragging regulatory chains around, then we have a technology modernization program that is, at best, troubled, and at worst, in crisis.

Meanwhile, in response to a banshee-howl from the AMA, CHIME, AHA and just about every other professional organization in healthcare IT, ONC and CMS are methodically in the process of extending Stage 2 of the meaningful use incentive program such that the obligations of providers to attest to achieving Stage 2 are extended at least into 2015.

This spring's finger pointing in Washington at vendors failing to get certified products to market has long since faded, replaced by a chorus of criticism that regulators at CMS and ONC created a hydra-headed set of implementation guidelines which made Stage 2 attestation reachable by only a handful of providers so far.

"Whether you call it evolution or revolution, there is groundswell among the peasantry calling for sweeping changes to the CMS EHR incentive programs," wrote meaningful use audit expert Jim Tate in late May.

Triggering Tate's rant was a CMS proposed rule, called for by most of the industry, offering relaxation in the requirements to achieve meaningful use in 2014.

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2 comments on "MU Slides into Summer of Discontent"


Frank Poggio (7/12/2014 at 12:44 PM)
Scott, You bet the 'bang will come'...remember EHR & MU was sold to Congress on the basis it will save $800billion (the infamous Rand Report) . So the bang will be when CMS starts to slash provider payments to show that it was a 'successful' program. The logic will be simple. CMS - we gave you $$ millions for your EHR, and now we are here to collect our ROI!

pk (7/9/2014 at 9:47 AM)
I am reminded of something my daddy told me several decades ago. There is no such thing as a "good deal" with the Federal Government.