Friday, October 11, 2013

During an industry forum on Wednesday, former National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari discussed the current state of health IT and offered some “insider clues” about the meaningful use program, Modern Healthcare reports.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives event was Mostashari’s first public speech since leaving the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT last week (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 10/10).

Mostashari’s Concerns

Mostashari outlined several concerns about the future of health IT, including:

  • Lack of preparation for new health care delivery models;
  • Product usability not keeping pace with expectations;
  • Time limitations for certain projects, including ICD-10 and meaningful use of EHRs;
  • Product supply and demand (Shaw, FierceHealthIT, 10/10); and
  • Poor communication across the industry.

“I do worry about usability,” Mostashari said, adding, “It is getting better. But the expectations are rising even faster … I wonder if the market is incentivizing usability as much as it should.”

He also said that some front-line health care providers are “struggling with the pace of change,” as “more and more [business practice challenges are] being placed on them” (Modern Healthcare, 10/10).

‘Insider Clues’ on Meaningful Use

When asked about whether Stage 2 of the meaningful use program would be delayed, Mostashari said, “I think folks should assume that the timelines stick” (FierceHealthIT, 10/10).

He noted that the process to delay Stage 2 of the meaningful use program would take nine to 12 months.

Mostashari said CHIME and other organizations that are pushing for relief from meaningful use penalties should focus on “sub-regulatory guidance.”

He said, “There is the ability in the rule for hardship exemption,” adding, “You wouldn’t get the [meaningful use incentive] payment, but you wouldn’t get the penalty” (Modern Healthcare, 10/10).


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