REC Sharing or Lack Thereof

Posted on June 16, 2010 I Written By

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There was a pretty interesting thread posted to a LinkedIn group about the RECs. Here’s some comments that will make you think a little bit about the RECs and in particular the RECs working together (or not).

It is understandable that REC’s must adapt their programs to the communities they plan on serving….Healthcare is local. However, living in Florida, where there are 4 REC’s, I expect some things to be consistent…for example the implementation process should include the same pre-implementation workflow worksheet. Unfortunately, this may not happen.

We know that ONC is asking that the REC’s play nice and share best practices. However, as a consultant that is talking with 3 of the 4 REC’s about a role….one REC leader in Florida asked me…”Make no mistake, we are competing with the other RECs, so as a consultant, how will you keep our secrets from the other REC’s you are working with in the State? This was a valid question, which I will address in my agreements, however, it made me think. What are they competing for..additional funding that isn’t there yet? Reputation? Most innovative?

Well..I think its all of the above. I believe, the REC, that employs the right people, have the right vendor PARTNERS, and think outside the ONC box, will rise above the rest. However, best practices must be shared and that is where the ONC project lead/coordinators (in Florida its Kelly), must step up and do!

RECs competing is kind of a sad idea for me. Something doesn’t feel right about that. Now take a look at the compensation funding model for the RECs:

The REC’s do get 500k upfront for marketing the REC, initial staffing needs, etc. Then they get $ as they sign up the physcians, in my area its 5k for primary physicians with no EHR. I think they get 3k for primary physicians that have an EHR, but needs to get too MU. Primary Docs are the main targets though. In terms of competing for physicians….they do not. The REC’s are assigned Counties in their State. The only time they would compete is if a doctor has two offices in separate Counties.

With this followup clarification from another user:

In my state, it’s $1500 for sign up, $1500 upon implementation, $1500 for meaningful use. Perhaps the competitiveness referred to in your conversation with the REC in FL relates to future grant awards…

When you see the $ signs in the RECs eyes, now you’ll know why. I appreciate that the government wants to try and reward results. However, something tells me that this isn’t heading down the path the government intended.