Sunday, March 15, 2015

Attestation: Meaningful or Meaningless ? That depends

The HITECH Act passed in         fueled the adaptation of EHR with a carrot and a stick. HITECH required providers to implement EHRs with several mandatory features that would allow analytics to evaluate 'BIG DATA" streaming from their EHRs/  The  carrot was accepted and now the stick is playing a bigger role for providers who have been unable to attest to the new MU regulations.

Last month, 81,500 eligible professionals attested to 2014 meaningful use requirements, up from 67,254 in January, according to CMS data. Overall, fewer than half of the 515,158 providers who registered to participate in the meaningful use program have attested to meeting the 2014 requirements. CMS expects an uptick in attestations as the  deadline approaches. Bloomberg BNA's "Health Care Blog."

Last month, CMS extended the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to the Medicare meaningful use 2014 reporting period from Feb. 28 until March 20 (iHealthBeat, 2/25).

Government deadlines seem to never be met, despite implications of incompetence, fraud, and deceit.  Nevertheless imposing inherently unobtainable deadlines undermines the credibility of health programs and others.

The roadmap to meaningful use is long, tortuous and expensive. It require(s)(d) significant investment of time and money into new healthcare software with either totally new functions or expensive patches and upgrades.  Interested parties were also given a deadline for implementation  of ICD-10 to replace the ICD-9 classification of diseases. The U.S.A has been mired in ICD-9 for decades, even after the world health organization has been using ICD-10 for some time.

Implementing MU is a task unto itself, however adding attestation adds another challenge to providers.  The charge is even more difficult for small or solo medical practices who do not have the human resources to accomplish the task. Consultants must be hired. For larger groups or institutional providers an IT department may be already at hand. Nevertheless one can only wonder how this promises to save tax payer dollars.


CMS Has Doled Out $28B in Meaningful Use Incentives

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