A Vendor View of Stage 2 Troubles

Among the reasons why federal officials recently proposed new flexibility in the electronic health records meaningful use program was the inability of vendors to get their products ready in time for Stage 2.

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Comments (2)
Nice sells pitch, but let's get real. the limited number of organizations with the capabilities necessary puts tremendous pressure on the small pocket players. Shooting at a moving target, 30% tops, too much dead money. My view the big houses that have the developed the technology licenses or franchise, reinvesting revenues developing higher level software. What comes to mind Microsoft.
Posted by Michael E | Friday, May 23 2014 at 11:41PM ET
This is an interesting perspective on vendors' failure to meet the Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements, but we at HealthFusion would like to present another view.

If you are a medical provider, we suggest that you should be a careful observer of the recent events related to Meaningful Use 2014 Certification, Stage 2 participation and also ICD-10. These recent events may have muddied the water with regard to your practice's workflow, but they actually shed light on the medical software industry. It is now acknowledged that upgrading medical software technology to meet the strict standards related to Meaningful Use and ICD-10 compliance is a hurdle that that not every vendor can meet. Factor in the short timelines originally proposed by CMS and just a sliver of the vendors had the wherewithal to meet the original deadlines.

The facts speak for themselves:

Complete Ambulatory EHRs Certified for 2011 Meaningful Use: 1,932
Complete Ambulatory EHRs Certified for 2014 Meaningful Use: 102 as of January 2014

Choosing medical software technology can be perplexing for providers. It is understandable, as they have no formal training in the procurement of software. But this recent market disruption affords providers a unique window into the EHR marketplace. Since vendors had no way of knowing that there would be a delay in the progress of Meaningful Use, every vendor had to plan to be ready by January 2014 to support their customers, and likewise for ICD-10 upgrades.

Many EHR vendors could not meet the deadline!

Not meeting the deadline means that there is something systemically wrong with that vendor. Remember, the playing field was level; every vendor received all of the tools to comply with the latest CMS programs at the same time. For Meaningful Use 2014, the tools for compliance were available at least 18 months prior to the deadline and still hundreds of EHRs could not comply.

We believe that providers need to distance themselves from EHR companies that had trouble meeting the deadline, as those companies:

1. Lack the technical expertise to keep pace in the fast-moving health IT marketplace
2. Don't have the financial resources to continue to invest in their EHR technology

Providers want an EHR vendor that will be with them for the long haul. If your vendor is committed to adopting the latest compliance standards, then your practice does not have to pray for CMS delays - your vendor is always ready and therefore so are you.

As an example, MediTouch EHR was certified for 2014 over 6 months prior to the original compliance date. We were one of the first few EHRs certified for 2011 and also for 2014.

When choosing EHR software, first look at how long it took the vendor to meet the latest Meaningful Use standard and whether ICD-10 tools are already built-in. The vendors that were early adopters of the new standards will be the ones that you can count on to keep up with the ever-changing health IT landscape.
Posted by Kathy M | Friday, May 23 2014 at 6:30PM ET
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