Government Incentives, Are They Enough Incentive?

The buzz around the Senate Finance Committee meetings for Health IT is that Meaningful Use Stage 2 could possibly be pushed back a year to give the healthcare industry time to catch their breath and execute federal requirements without compromising daily operations. Even the transition to ICD-10 could get pushed back as well. The bottom line is that there’s too much going on, it’s too expensive, resources are limited, and hospital employees having to do more just to keep a facility operational.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., started the meeting with a piercing quote by one of America’s finest, Thomas Edison, saying “Vision without execution is hallucination.” The healthcare industry can truly benefit from the changes the government is out to accomplish, but doing so in a manner that hurts more than it helps can be detrimental to hospitals and other healthcare organizations across the nation.

Even large medical facilities are having financial difficulties surrounding EMR implementation, training, adoption, and proper execution as seen recently with Maine Medical Center in Portland, M.E. and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Healthcare organizations, small and large, are scrambling to meet deadlines to qualify for the incentives plan, but in many cases the incentives plan doesn’t make up for the loss of revenue accompanying these large EMR systems.

Some takeaways:
1) Get everyone you know to cross their fingers for a deadline extension.
2) Getting the right expertise and assistance with implementing and optimizing a new EMR system can be the difference between reaping all the incentives of a new EMR, and going into a revenue deficit trying to keep up with the deadlines.

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