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Colleagues,

In some respects the transformation of American healthcare began in earnest today.  Starting in September for hospitals, and January 2011 for eligible providers, the federal government begins paying incentive payments for the "Meaningful Use" of Electronic Health Records (EHR)s.  That is $44,000 for Medicare eligible providers, close to $64,000 for Medicaid providers, and at least $2 Million for hospitals ...

... What has been a slowly evolving mystery, is what will the final rules governing "Meaningful Use" look like?  Well, in a well written article, healthsystemCIO.com editor Anthony Guerra reveals the mystery in easy to understand, cogent terms ...

.. As Anthony notes, the powers that be have decided to embrace flexibility ...  it may be a little more complicated than the proposed rules, but they are more flexible...  See excerpts below ..

ENJOY!

CC
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Signed, Sealed, Delivered!


The final Meaningful Use regulations issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services jettison a proposed all-or-nothing program in favor of a more flexible approach.


... Today’s final regulations — announced at a press conference hosted by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — make clear those agencies adjusted the proposed regulations according to issues raised in more than 2,000 comment letters received from the public, many of which eschewed the original prescriptive approach...


... Specifically, while the proposed rule called on eligible professionals to meet 25 requirements (23 for hospitals) in their use of EHRs, the final rule divides the requirements into a “core” group of requirements that must be met, plus an additional “menu” of procedures from which providers may choose...


... "we want well-intended providers to become Meaningful Users. So we want the objectives to be ambitious, but achievable,” said David Blumenthal, M.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, during the press conference...


... The final rule has 15 core measures for eligible providers and 14 for hospitals, with an additional 10 measures available in a menu from which providers must select half. Those five measures would become part of that provider’s Stage One requirements, while the rest would be deferred to Stage Two...
 

... Blumenthal added that he hoped the government would one day be able to step back in the promotion of EHRs, allowing the profession to take over...


... “I believe it is only a matter of time before doctors and hospitals are leaders of this effort. The reason is that using information is a core clinical competency for professionals in healthcare. We are only as good at treating patients as the information we have. I know that doctors will soon be unwilling to record information in any other format than the most modern and efficient one because that will be consistent with what they view as their professional responsibility,” he said. 


Read on at: http://healthsystemcio.com/2010/07/13/flexibility-embraced-in-final...


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