WASHINGTON – Farzad Moshashari, the national Coordinator for Health Information Technology, is suppo5ting the Health IT Policy Committee’s recommendation for a delay of Stage 2 start date from 2013 to 2014.
“The last thing we want to do is provide a disincentive towards attesting for meaningful use in 2011,” he told the group at a July 6 meeting. “We recognize that not accepting your recommendation to delay the start of stage 2 could negatively impact provider participation rates in the EHR incentive program in 2011.”
The decision on timing will not be official until the final rules are issued in summer 2012.
At a June 27 session of the National Health IT and Delivery System Transformation Summit in Washington, D.C., Mostashari continued his campaign on the value of meaningful use.
“Don’t look at meaningful use as a distraction or a bureaucratic list of hoops to jump through,” he said. “Meaningful use is the best-we-could-make-it roadmap to prepare for delivery of higher quality care and mitigating some of the costs toward getting there.”
Though many organizations are still struggling to apply for incentives, some are well underway, embracing the concept even before MU had a name.
Arlington Texas-based Texas Health Resources earned $19.5 million in MU incentives this May. According to Ferdinand Velasco, MD, vice president and chief medical information officer, the health system didn’t do it for the money.
“As an organization, we thought it was the right thing to do, and critical to advancing our health system as a high-quality care organization,” he said. “It just so happened that our trajectory aligned with federal incentives.”
Greg Ator, MD, CMIO for the University of Kansas Hospital, said, “People see meaningful use as another government program as negative; we rebranded it ‘meaningful outcomes.’”
Ator said the hospital isn’t simply selling the benefits of EMRs to its physicians. “We’re really, with meaningful use, bringing up the concept you need to be using all the power of the system,” he said.