Are Doctors Embracing or Ignoring ARRA?
By D. Kellus Pruitt DDS
Doctors versus the Feds
National progress towards Meaningful Use of expensive EHRs depends on whether one talks to federal employees whose jobs depend on the stimulus mandate, or doctors who purchase EHRs to improve care rather than to use them … Meaningfully.
Today, Joseph Conn, writing for ModernHealthcare, posted a rosy outlook for MU adoption according to researchers working for HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). They base their optimism for job security on a recent National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) survey:
“A growing number of office-based physicians are using more-robust EHRs that have higher-level functions needed to help the doctors qualify for federal EHR incentive payments [for Meaningful Use] and assist them in providing better, safer care for patients, the researchers reported.” (See “Researchers: More doctors using more-sophisticated EHRs”).
However, yesterday, in an InformationWeek article by Ken Terry titled, “Meaningful Use Doesn’t Drive Doctors’ EHR Selection,” doctors suggested a more depressing future for MU sophistication based on the same NCHS survey:
“Jason Mitchell, MD, assistant director of the Center for Health IT at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), told InformationWeek Healthcare that he found [the lagging adoption of MU-capable EHRs] puzzling. While there’s no doubt that Meaningful Use has driven much of the increase in EHR use, he said, it seems strange that so many physicians would buy and implement EHRs that could not be used to show Meaningful Use.”
Whom should doctors believe – HHS employees who give away billions of stimulus dollars for Meaningful Use, or family physicians who have determined that the subsidy isn’t worth the cost and effort?
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Filed under: Information Technology, Pruitt's Platform Tagged: | American Academy of Family Physicians, ARRA, Confusion About “Meaningful Use”, Darrell Pruitt DDS, EHRs, EMRs, HHS, HI-TECH Act, InformationWeek, Jason Mitchell MD, Ken Terry, ModernHealthcare, National Center for Health Statistics, Office of the National Coordinator, ONC, ONCHIT