While the EMR stimulus cash is appealing, providers may have to jump through several hoops to get it. Read on to learn more about the requirments for meaningful use of an EMR as well as techniques for saving money and the environment.
|Wait To Purchase An EMR|
We know you've been inundated with calls from sales persons urging you to purchase an EMR package in order to qualify for the $44,000 per physician HiTech stimulus money. However, we advise you to wait until all of the "meaningful use" issues are ironed out. The federal government will only be awarding this money to practices that have adopted an EMR and are satisfying "meaningful use" criteria. Ann Richardson Berkey, V-P of Public Affairs for McKesson, states the proposed EMR quality guidelines fully apply only to primary care providers. This is definitely a problem for our specialty-based clients. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) believes that physicians face significant challenges meeting these criteria as currently written. Their objections include:
- Unreasonable thresholds for some of the meaningful use criteria (i.e., computerized prescription order entry, electronic claim submission, electronic insurance eligibility verification, and others);
- Potentially difficult meaningful use attestation after the first year; and
- A requirement that physician offices provide patients and others with electronic copies of medical records.
We will keep you updated as this issue progresses.