Oh, we long-suffering Chicago Bears fans; we understand at any fleeting ray of expectation.
Previous year, the group’s coaches looked incapable of making halftime adjustments. If a plan did not work in the 1st half of a game, very little considered to change in the 2nd half. This year, new coaches look good at adjusting strategy on the fly, and while the group’s record is not much enhanced and improved, the Bears now are considerably better at responding to in-game conditions.
Life needs that, and so, too, does the Meaningful Use program. Despite the latest flexibility offered to contributors with Stage 2 needs, there is increasing concern that it is not reacting to present realities and struggles that contributors face, and that it does not anticipate changes in compensation accesses and quality measures.
Contributors got a stop-gap halftime breather with the passage of the Sufferer Access and Medicare Protection Act, which brings immediate relaxation for eligible experts and hospitals that were rushing to try and attest to Level 2 of the Meaningful Use program. The legislation decreases the threat that contributors will be hit with economical penalties for failing to acquire Stage 2 in the year 2015.
But the angst regarding the program sustains to be high. Despite all the good it is acquired in accelerating adoption of EHRs, it is obvious that contributor perception of the program has degraded. That demonstrates a need to tinker with the strategy. The rival is not the technology, the government, the program’s vision, the vendors or the contributors who are resisting. It is the mix, the requirement for strategy to be reassessed at this point, with latest game that is in front of everyone.
Level 1 of the program was challenging, but achievable – get EHR technology in place, and initiate using it. Attesting to acquiring a set of objectives was time-consuming, but possible. Level 2 has proven much more complicated, as objectives have become more problematic and have sought to indicate that contributors are beginning to utilize the technology to integrate care and data, while engaging sufferers with technology as well. Fewer contributors are capable to attest, even under relaxed objectives and time periods.
Level 3 looms, and contributors worry even now, because many are still in the throes of making the leap from Level 1 to Level 2. This is tough, and the next leap will be greater, harder—and perhaps pointless. Even as the program attracts a similar matrix to what was established in 6 years ago, the game in front of the healthcare industry in the U.S.A is changed astonishingly.
Contributors universally are calling for a time out to assess where the program is going, and the pieces that are being integrated as representing measures of growth.
“No further Levels (like Level 3) should be contemplated or set in stone before we have great -scale adoption of Level 2,” states Pamela McNutt, senior vice president and CIO for Dallas-based Methodist Health System. “Level 3 requires to be importantly watered down to be victorious and must have a 90-day reporting period, no matter when you start. All needs that are deployed on actions of others need to be eliminated.”
McNutt is a veteran at observing federal policy involving health IT and has been thoroughly involved in policy position formulation for the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. She is not alone in her beliefs; Chuck Christian, outgoing board chair of CHIME, is quick to echo her thoughts.
“We actually need to get a concept of the influence that the first two levels has had on quality and protection before we jump into another,” states Christian, vice president of technology and engagement at the Indiana Health Information Exchange. “Level 2 had to be enhanced to ease some of the pressure points in order for many contributors to sustain in the program.”
Christian also highlighted other hot buttons that other contributors have raised – holding contributors accountable for whether patients access records electronically, the utilization of APIs without valid standards and experience using them, the deficiency of a lock-down way of matching sufferers with their records, among others. He also gave the following observation, which is telling:
“I am not hearing or reading a lot about the topic of the content and many formats of the CCDAs and the deficiency of interest that physicians have in gaining them or the difficulty they have had involving them into their clinical workflow,” he claims. It is sad, because the final vision for the program should not be to construct technology, systems and accesses that are resisted and resented.
The disconnect is also evident in the comments that the Massachusetts Medical Society offered to the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services previously this month, commenting on ultimate regulations for Level 3 of the program.
“Over 80% of [state] physicians presently use EHRs, with a primary percentage having used them for approximately ten years. Despite this fact, only 20% of these similar physicians have been capable to meet Meaningful Use Level 2, involving some of our most tech-savvy and enthusiastic contributors,” the comment letter by MMS claimed.
“We consider the inherent issues with the design of the Meaningful Use program must be appreciated and corrected before going forward. The issues and frustration with the MU program are so great, that many physicians in our membership would strongly emphasize the Department to completely abandon the present approach, which concentrates on the number of tests completed as opposed to clinical relevance or usefulness. It is also complicated to conceive how final Meaningful Use regulations could be released at this time without having the overall framework of the MIPS program in place.
It is time to appreciated that the game in front of the industry is changing, and quickly. Value-based care, population health and quality measures will consume the industry, and IT networks must support this radical move, not seem to be out of touch with the latest game that is appeared on the field.
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