Intermountain to Miss 2014 Meaningful Use Attestation Deadline, Citing Safety Concerns

Scott Mace, February 27, 2014

Despite its sophistication in healthcare IT, the CIO of Intermountain Healthcare says the organization is unready and will forgo incentive payments and trigger penalties. Federal officials acknowledge that many health systems take issue with the meaningful use deadlines.

Update: CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, speaking at the HIMSS 2014 conference in Orlando Thursday morning, announced that CMS has decided to permit flexibility on how hardship exemptions will be granted for meeting 2014 Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation deadlines. "I must stress we expect all providers to meet requirements in 2015. I urge you to meet the requirements this year."

In an exclusive interview with HealthLeaders Media, Intermountain Healthcare CIO Marc Probst says the organization is planning not to attest for meaningful use Stage 2 in 2014, forgoing a sizable incentive payment and triggering penalties in 2016 from CMS.

"We don't feel confident we can attest in 2014 and maintain our current level of patient safety," Probst says.

Intermountain has begun transitioning from its own homegrown electronic health record software to software provided by Cerner, but that transition is such a lengthy process that only three of Intermountain's hospitals will be running on the new EHR by the end of the year, Probst says. He spoke with HealthLeaders Media at the HIMSS 2014 conference in Orlando.

The remainder of those hospitals will continue to run Intermountain's own EHR, which the health system will certify for MU Stage 2 this year. But the attestation will take place next year, Probst says.

The buzz at this week's HIMSS annual conference in Orlando was that some large providers could miss their 2014 attestations, although there were few public acknowledgements. The topic has also been of great interest recently on the member-only list serve of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems, according to Lyle Berkowitz, MD, a Chicago-area physician leader.

Scott Mace

Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.


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