Oof, we’ve got a long way to go on HIT

From the AMA Wire (emphasis mine):

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Tuesday released the latest data detailing how many physicians and hospitals have successfully attested to the electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program this year. The results have been met by disappointment but little surprise, prompting health care organizations to call for immediate changes to the program.

The data report reveals that only 11,478 physicians and other eligible providers had attested to Stage 2 of meaningful use by Nov. 1—that’s just 2 percent. While physicians who have already participated in the meaningful use program have until Feb. 28 to attest to meeting requirements this year, the final numbers are not expected to be overwhelmingly higher. Hospital attesters also were in the minority, totaling just 840, or 17 percent.

For the record, the expectation is that more than 260,000 providers and more than 3900 hospitals are required to meet Stage 2 measures next year. I’ve written about this before (and I will again). To avoid penalties, docs have to meet 100% of the program’s requirements, and there’s a 365-day reporting period. That will be very, very hard to accomplish for tons of docs.

I love HIT. I really do. I’m just not convinced that the federal regulations are going to help physicians or patients achieve a more efficient or better healthcare system.



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