Lowering the Meaningful Use Bar

Posted on June 1, 2010 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.

The Healthcare IT writer at BNet, Ken Terry, recently posted a quote from David Brailer, former national health IT czar, about the final meaningful use rule and physician adoption of EMR:

Brailer, like a number of other observers, believes that federal overseers at the Department of Health and Human Services will lower the bar when the final regulations are published next month. “I expect the final rules will be softer, more developmental and incremental,” he said.

That would be good news for doctors and hospitals. Still, many physicians are reluctant to make the leap into health IT because they have to invest in it upfront, before getting any subsidies, and they worry that it will kill their productivity.

I agree that the final rule for meaningful use will have a lower bar. However, will it be a significantly lower bar or will it just have a few elements that lower the bar without any real meaningful changes?

The challenge is that HHS is faced with dealing with the legislative requirements that they’ve been given against the comments they’ve received. It seems like at this point that those two items are at odds and HHS is in a tough position with few ways out.

Either way, I think we can all agree that we’d all just love some meaningful details on how to get the EMR stimulus money. Good or bad, reasonable or unreasonable, it would just be nice to know the details so that we can make some informed decisions.