Meaningful use creates consulting boom
Demand for meaningful use help has exploded, increasing competition between third-party consulting firms-most of whom are excelling in MU-related work, according to a new report from research firm KLAS.
Most providers have not attested for meaningful use Stage 1, most frequently citing quality measures and reporting as their biggest challenges, the report notes. That has them increasingly reaching out to consultants for assistance, according to the KLAS report Rapid Growth of Meaningful Use Consulting: Why Providers Are Reaching Out.
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User adoption, software upgrades, and updates also rank high among the challenges providers cite for implementing electronic medical records.
One CFO said, "We were struggling to do the implementation ourselves, and I ultimately bit the bullet and hired [a consulting firm] to come in and help us get our act together. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my professional career."??
KLAS identifies a total of 51 firms that have conducted at least one MU-related project, engaging in everything from strategic advisory services and lead roles in implementations to supporting implementation engagements and to implementation and staff augmentation projects. Most firms are performing well and are satisfying healthcare provider expectations, according to KLAS. More than half (61 percent) of the ranked firms in the KLAS report achieved a score of 89 out of 100 or above.
The KLAS report distinguishes firms by the services they offer, the vendors they focus on, and their performance.
It also discusses providers' biggest MU needs, which firms fill those needs, the market trends, and the future outlook on the market. Beyond attesting for Stage 1, healthcare providers are looking to consulting firms to partner with as they navigate years of upcoming regulations and potential policy changes, according to the report.