To start off my discussion of meaningful use, I have to hit on something that just feels wrong. It’s a concept that’s been going around for quite a while. It makes sense from one perspective, but feels really odd from another. The concept is that the Meaningful Use requirements will increase over time.
Certainly the idea is that they want to set the bar lower at the beginning and allow people some time to be able to meet the more difficult/advanced meaningful use requirements. Makes a lot of sense that it may take some extra time to finally achieve some of these items.
Unfortunately, the way the EHR stimulus money is given out the amount of money decreases over time. Yes, that means that you’ll be required to do more to get less money. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?
The other problem with increasing the meaningful use criteria each year is that it creates a real moving target that must be learned and met each year. This means that each year there will be new requirements that people won’t know how to meet. I have a feeling that figuring out how to meet the meaningful use requirements is going to be to a large extent a guessing game.
Sure, there will be some guidance given, but until people are actually accepted or denied we’re not really going to know how to best meet the guidelines. Since each year the requirements will change that means each year people will be playing the guessing game of how to get the stimulus money.
This is really good news for consultants who are going to get paid lots of money following the moving target. Not as good news for those doctors wanting to show meaningful use.