Delays in EHR Stimulus Time Frame

Posted on May 3, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

About a month ago I read an interesting post by Will Weider, CIO of Ministry Health Care and Affinity Health System, where Will is the first to announce delays in the HITECH Act (ARRA) EHR stimulus money. To make his case he gives two reasons for his belief:

  1. In my experience, government mandates delays are the rule
  2. This EHR deadlines are completely unreasonable

HHS finally has Kathleen Sebelius in as secretary and so that should help move things along. However, I have to agree with Will that the EHR stimulus money will be delayed.

I’m not really blaming HHS or ONC or any other government organization for this. The HITECH Act (ARRA) guidelines are so vague that they should take their time and make sure the $18 billion is spent wisely. Luckily, I feel like David Blumenthal seems to understand the importance of the decisions they make as far as what’s defined as a “certified EHR” and meaningful use. That’s a good thing and it’s better to do things slowly than to do things poorly.

This will be bad news for all those EHR vendors who aren’t selling products. More delays on the definitions of these two things could put a number of EHR vendors in trouble (as I’ve spoken about a few times before).

I think we’re in for a really interesting year for those interested in selecting an EHR and the EHR space. I wonder if the first person to get a stimulus check from the government will take a picture and post it on Twitter or some blog. That will be a momentous occasion indeed.