Federal incentives for meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) have become a topic of political debate. Recently, several House Republicans called for immediate suspension of EHR incentives. Health IT groups fired back, defending incentives.
Four powerful House Republicans told the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that “insufficient standards” for EHR meaningful use have left physicians and other providers with systems that cannot “talk with one another.” They urged Sebelius to suspend the incentive payments until HHS issues “universal standards."
Attacking EHRs is in vogue with some political groups and the media, but Rome was not built in a day. EHR companies have been around now for quite a few years and implementation rates were in the low teens for the industry.
The federal stimulus has got the ball moving in a significant manner in a very short period of time. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act should be credited with making it happen. Many doctors and hospitals would still be delaying EHR decisions if not for the incentives.
The emphasis on interoperability is the key to gaining efficiencies and the senators are spot on in that regard. In healthcare there are way too many systems and vendors that emphasize medical note templates and system generated up-coding suggestions rather than focusing on interconnectivity and secure clinical exchange of data.
EHR software should provide healthcare providers with information to do their jobs more efficiently and safely – not just generate their notes and medical codes for them.
NCG Medical will continue to provide smart solutions, such as Perfect Care, that work hard to make our health records system better nationwide. In the end, everyone will benefit.
VP of Business Development