During his talk at Health Data Management’s Healthcare Analytics Symposium, Lynn Witherspoon, M.D., vice president and chief information officer at New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System, laid out the multiple challenges in meeting meaningful use requirements.

While Ochsner is eyeing some $50 million in incentive payments, the meaningful use program carries a little-discussed component: the payment penalties providers face beginning in 2015 if they are not qualified “meaningful users.” To Witherspoon, the penalties are as big a driving force as the incentives, particularly because they remain in effect indefinitely--unlike the incentive payments.

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