Electronic health record 'meaningful use' reporting period begins
Experts recommend waiting before starting EHR 'ticking clock'
Computerworld - The federal government's "meaningful use" attestation period begins today, allowing hospitals and physician practices to submit data collected on electronic health record systems (EHR) in order to receive thousands to millions of dollars in reimbursement payments.
Over the next two years, 58% of small physician practices plan to roll out EHRs. And by 2014, the federal government wants more than half of all healthcare facilities to use EHRs. If they have not rolled out EHRs by 2015, physicians and facilities face penalties.
Meaningful use is a set of specifications and certification criteria for EHRs in three parts, created by the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). (Only Phase 1 rules have been issued thus far.)
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, physicians who implement EHR systems and demonstrate that they are engaged in meaningful use of such systems can receive reimbursements as much as $44,000 under Medicare, or as much as $65,000 under Medicaid. Hospitals can receive funds from both Medicare and Medicaid.
On average, hospitals receive about $4 million in reimbursements, but the largest single facilities can expect to receive as much as $12 million, said Dr. Mitch Morris, national leader for health IT at Deloitte Consulting.
However, Morris noted that the total five-year spend by hospitals and physician practices on capital and operating costs could be two to three times what they will receive in government reimbursement payments.
"Even though the government is incentivizing this with significant money, it's not going to build the whole system," he said.
Clinicians and hospitals that have deployed EHRs must collect 90 days' worth of data from the systems and submit it to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Morris said some facilities have already deployed EHRs and are preparing to submit their data today, but he advises that others wait.
"Once you use it, you really have to be sure, because it starts the clock ticking -- not only for the 90-day period, but also for the whole program," he said. "You have to be thinking ahead. While you may be qualified for Stage 1 [of meaningful use] now, you have to ask yourself it you'll be qualified for Stages 2 and 3."
Karen Bell, chairwoman of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of healthcare IT systems, agreed. Bell said that if you haven't gone through the readiness process, gotten your staff prepared, made certain that everyone is on board with what an EHR will entail, and put a project plan in place, then you'd probably be better off waiting until 2012, when the new criteria come out.
Health care and IT
- HIPAA rules, outdated tech cost U.S. hospitals $8.3B a year
- How big data will save your life
- WebMD, Qualcomm build consumer cloud for mobile health data
- Lack of healthcare IT workers slows tech progress
- U.S. doctors don't believe patients need full access to health records
- Bill Clinton calls for healthcare price transparency, embracing IT to cut costs
- Physicians may be marginalized as mobile tech engages us in healthcare
- IBM: Watson will eventually fit on a smartphone, diagnose illness
- Hospitals need to copy airline, bank, retail e-business models
- Health providers can't find, keep IT staff
- Google I/O 2013's Coolest Products and Services
- 10 Star Trek Technologies That are Almost Here
- 19 Generations of Computer Programmers
- 25 Must-Have Technologies for SMBs
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
There are two key factors for success in a consumer-driven market: holding down costs and retaining members. And a cohesive multichannel digital media strategy that includes social media tools - used effectively in retail and other industries but less so in healthcare – can help with both.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Intelligent Systems: A Prescription for Health Care Transformation
- Facing an onslaught of regulatory changes and market pressures, health care providers are grappling with how to transform existing services as part of...
- The Importance of Network Time Synchronization
- Your network is time stamping files, email, transactions, etc., while your server logs are recording the transactions in case you need that information....
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry 10 Security Works
- Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® 10 Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Manage Virtualized and Cloud Environments and the New Software-defined Data Center
- Analyst report by Enterprise Management Associates on the newly announced EMC Service Assurance Suite, and how well it addresses operational challenges and market...
- How Storage Resource Management Suite Meets Today's Storage Management Challenges
- This white paper outlines the common use cases Storage Resource Management Suite addresses including comprehensive monitoring, reporting, and analysis for heterogeneous block, file,... All Healthcare IT White Papers
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity.
- Content Analytics: Big Data Conquered, Customer Service Elevated
- For organizations looking to start a content analytics program or improve their existing capabilities, Aberdeen Group and IBM will lay out several recommendations... All Healthcare IT Webcasts