Health Care Providers Concerned About 'Meaningful Use' Regulation

Lora Bentley

It's been nearly a year since the HITECH Act and its stimulus dollars for electronic medical records technology were introduced to the health care community. That's plenty of time for stakeholders to digest and come to terms with all the requirements attached to those funds, right? Well, not really, since the Department of Health and Human Services didn't release its proposed "meaningful use" standard until December. But they have had time to form a few opinions.


In an InformationWeek piece, founder Anthony Guerra says health care facilities and physicians have serious concerns about the proposed regulation, and they're hoping the final version that emerges after the public comment period will be significantly different.


One thing that concerns them, Guerra says, is that the standard eliminates hospital-based doctors from eligibility. He writes:

Hospitals, critics say, will have less incentive to help these doctors -- by some counts almost 30 percent of physicians, including radiologists, pathologists, hospitalists and emergency department physicians -- in their electronic journey.


Most concerning, though, is that those who are working to earn the incentives must meet all the requirements before they are eligible for any part of the money. "They get no 'E' for effort," Guerra says. More specifically, he writes:

Providers must install a yet-to-be-defined certified e-health record system, meet all Meaningful Use objectives, and report all 23 physician or 25 hospital measures (many of which are completely new) to get any payout.


The public may comment on the proposed regulation until March 15.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Feb 3, 2010 1:34 AM Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson  says:

Federal funding may be encouraging a move toward EHR, but there's more to it than just installing systems. How can healthcare data pooling lead to a better system? More at

Feb 3, 2010 3:00 AM bilo bilo bilo bilo  says:

I should say that it is very important for people who need this information thanks

Feb 28, 2010 2:46 AM David Lee David Lee  says:

With all the issues that exist with the initial release of the meaningful use requirements, I truly believe the HITECH Act and the incentive payments will add huge positives into healthcare industry.  I am optimistic that when all the comments are digested, appropriate changes will be made to make the stage 1 requirements realistic.  As a meaningful use consultant, biggest problem is the large amounts of mis-information and confusion out there.  Each time I talk to a physician or clinic, I am motivated to continue my efforts to educate and assist physicians reach meaningful use.  I find that the EHR vendors and other so called healthcare experts add to the confusion more than anyone else.  We all need to have our facts straight before helping others!


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