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Meaningful Use Dashboard Update…And a Reality Check

by Lauren H. Fifield, Senior Policy Advisor

It’s no news to anyone that the EHR market is competitive as all get out. But pour in some Meaningful Use incentive fuel and an event like MGMA this week in Las Vegas has the makings of a title bout. We’re right in the mix, naturally, with our Meaningful Use challenge encouraging attendees to ask tough questions of other vendors and come back to our booth to share the answers.

Nevertheless, when we read this story about providers on one software solution attesting with bad data because of system error, we actually felt bad for the vendor – but of course even more so for the doctors.

If some of your providers attest with bad data how do you go back and figure out who was affected? Once you identify who attested with the incorrect data, how do you untangle it? And then how do you rectify the problem with CMS? The point here is we've found that Meaningful Use is hard. It's harder than we thought. In fact, all signs point to health reform efforts getting a whole lot harder before they get easier. Take, for example, the ACO final rule with the removal of its proposed requirement to have 50% of an ACO's providers also be Meaningful Users. The cracks are just beginning to show.

How can anyone get all of this right? I don't think we'd ever claim to get it right every time--we don’t, at least the first time. But because we are not just selling software and instead providing cloud-based services, we can see everything in real time. If we are wrong nine times out of ten, we can get it right on the tenth time. In other words, a single instance of cloud-based software allows us to self-correct as needed and very quickly. None of this--ICD-10, MU Stage 2 & 3, ACOs, etc.--is going to make our lives easier but we have to make it work. Because our outcomes are tied to the outcomes of our clients, ultimately we’ll get it right because we have to. And, if needed, we can push out a fix to everyone in record time.

This all leads us to the latest installment of the Meaningful Use dashboard data. In the interest of transparency we have been revealing our data every two weeks. This time around we can say we are nearly halfway there – or as our boss might put it, only halfway there (so keep working!) – with 48% of our Medicare MU providers attesting. We’re happy to be making good progress and even happier for our providers getting checks for doing the right thing. We try to give them all the tools they need and get them on the right path and clearly they are taking to it. Our numbers, by the way, are way beyond the single digit national numbers we’ve seen reported. Not bragging. Just pleased it’s working.

On Monday night in Las Vegas, our intrepid CEO Jonathan Bush made a big splash at the hotspot Tao on the Las Vegas strip.  As you might hear or read elsewhere, he literally opened the kimono on our dashboard. Yes, it was classic Vegas showmanship but there was a serious point he was making---as serious as a man can be in a floral kimono: Here’s our data. We’re putting it out there. How well are other vendors doing for their providers? Why isn’t the entire industry opening its kimono so providers can see how this Meaningful Use thing is going?

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