Challenges to health care reform persist
- The Washington Post reports on Feb. 4th that Virginia will seek the U.S. Supreme Court to quickly take up a review of their challenge to the constitutionality of the federal health care reform law.
- Meanwhile some Republican lawmakers have taken steps to neuter provisions to award doctors thousands in incentive dollars for achieving Meaningful Use of an EHR.
- And in more news from Washington, D.C., President Obama’s head of health care IT, Dr. David Blumenthal announced that he would step down this spring.
- John Moore at Chilmark Research produced this handy guide to what he sees happening in 2011. He says, “As we move into 2011, we will continue to see an extreme amount of activity and turmoil in the HIT market with the biggest elephant in the room being what will actually happen to the healthcare reform bill that was passed at the beginning of 2010.” And he already got his #6 prediction right.
Value of EHRs doubted in study
- Researchers at Stanford published a report concluding that EHRs do not necessarily improve the quality of care in ambulatory settings. This InformationWeek article asks “But isn't the success of EHRs -- like big applications in other industries -- closely dependent on how these systems are being used, the training users receive, and how robust and easy the products are to use?” Gee, do you think?
Testimony about EHR vendors shows added burdens on practices
- The Stanford study may have found some shortcomings in the use of EHRs but testimony in front of the ONC Implementation Workgroup meeting on January 10 and 11 revealed just how some EHR vendors are treating their clients on the path to achieving Meaningful Use. You can read the testimony from those two days in a collection of PDFs here. It turns out some doctors face added costs for the software upgrades they will need to reach Meaningful Use. It will also be a pain. As one witness said “The process of upgrading any medical software is complicated, labor intensive, and costly.” We’re not surprised to hear of hidden costs and expensive upgrades with software-based EHRs. Our clients so far are singing a different tune. We’ll feature one of them here next week.
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