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Make sense of the alphabet soup of acronyms
As President Obama's 2015 deadline for everyone in the country to use electronic health records moves closer, doctors, hospitals and other organizations say the "meaningful use" requirements that must be met before they qualify to receive federal incentives for medical records systems under the HITECH Act are too complicated for even the large and technologically advanced among them. Moreover, the time frame within which they must be met is too short.
According to The New York Times, groups including The Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Intermountain Healthcare and Partners HealthCare raised their concerns in meetings at the White House. Their voices were echoed in letters from nearly 300 federal legislators, the story says.
We are very concerned about the requirement that hospitals and eligible professionals must meet each and every one of the objectives to demonstrate meaningful use and thereby qualify for incentive payments.
He called the government's expectations "unrealistic" and the timeline "unachievable."
Kaiser Permanente VP Anthony Barrueta indicated that his company, with all its years of experience around electronic records, could not meet all of the qualifications, and the same is true of Intermountain. The company's chief medical officer, Dr. Brent Harper, said:
At this date, Intermountain could not meet 36 of the 48 meaningful use requirements.
Though government officials say they are "on target" to meet the 2015 deadline with the current goals, the health care organizations would like to see a more relaxed approach where "incremental progress" is rewarded.