Friday, October 5, 2012

Health Train Express Back on the Track ?


Here is a quick response from HIMSS (less than 24 hours after Congress asks for hold on HIT.

(from EMR and  Health IT News)


Washington, DC)  HIMSS opposes the October 4th call from four House Republican leaders for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “immediately suspend the distribution of incentive payments until [the Department] promulgates universal interoperable standards.”  HIMSS emphasizes the significant progress that has been made towards the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and exchange of health information since the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive program began in 2011.

The House Republican leaders’ letter asks HHS to take additional steps to “advance  interoperability and meaningful use” of health information technology (IT).  HIMSS notes that the Stage 2 Final Rule, published by the Department on September 4, moves the Nation definitively towards interoperability.

These conflicting opinions are undoubtedly due to the ‘rush to EMR and HIE’ in a frenzy of spending frenzy to benefit the HIT industry.

Congress and HHS rolled out incentives for unproven and largely non-vetted systems.

There are 3 stages in the meaningful use criteria for eligibility for federal incentives. The requirements are supposed to be staged in regard to difficulty to attain with new HIT and EMR systems. Now there is some disagreement to the credibility of the Stage II criteria as Stage I has been completed.  The government incentive is dependent upon an  unrealistic schedule which imposes penalties for delayed installation of EHRs , which motivates providers to buy immature and inadequate EMR systems.


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