|In the Olympic Opening Ceremonies on Friday, the organizers referred to Great Britain’s health system as a national treasure. While it is doubtful many Americans would assign our system the same moniker, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) are taking steps, such as the Meaningful Use program, to improve it. A number of practices today are contemplating the purchase of an EMRand the pursuit of incentives offered by CMS under the program. However, some providers are strongly opposed to the idea – partly because they suffer from misinformation — and the debates can get a little, well, let’s call it “spirited.”Earlier this week, GE Healthcare announced that 4,250 providers on Centricity Practice Solution and Centricity EMR have successfully attested to Meaningful Use in the ambulatory setting. This represents approximately $80M in incentive dollars and puts GE Healthcare fourth (just barely missing the bronze!) among 337 vendors. I’ve spoken to a number of those practices about their Meaningful Use journey and learned that initial resistance often gives way once physicians realize the power of a sophisticated EMR and have a better understand Meaningful Use. Three myths appear to feed this resistance:
Myth #1: My practice is too small.
Our customers who have successfully attested to Meaningful Use Stage 1 range from one physician practices to organizations with well over 100-physicians. As one single-doctor practice put it:
“You made it easy for us. The support we got to be able to meet Meaningful Use was incredible, and you’re already helping us look ahead to Stage 2. It takes a lot of energy, and you were a valuable 3rd party partner delivering tools to support our efforts.”
Myth #2: I’m a specialist. Meaningful Use is only for family practices and internal medicine.
Providers using Centricity Practice Solution and Centricity EMR across 50 specialties have successfully attested to Meaningful Use Stage 1. In my conversations with specialty practices, I’ve learned that proper planning, selection of the right menu measures, and the flexibility of GE Healthcare’s EMRs helped enable specialists to efficiently meet or demonstrate exemption from the Stage 1 requirements.
Myth #3: Meaningful Use is more work than it is worth – even with the incentives.
The most obvious benefits of attestation are the financial incentives offered by CMS. And, as with the Olympic games, capturing the gold does provider require planning and preparations. However, one physician commented to me that adopting Centricity Practice Solution and attesting to Meaningful Use benefited her practice both clinically and operationally in unanticipated ways:
Meaningful Use incentives are certainly encouraging more practices to adopt EMRs. Knowing more about Meaningful Use attestation will help allay your providers’ fears. EMRs give providers powerful tools to help them enhance the care they deliver, and our customers are proud of the quality of care they provide to their patients. Share this blog with others and help CMS take steps to make our healthcare system a national treasure.
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