The Move to Meaningful Use

As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) facilities that meet certain Health IT goals on the road to a fully integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR) are eligible, for a limited number of years, for bonus payments for quick adaptation of EHRs. If, after a number of years, facilities continue to avoid adoption of Health IT and EHRs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin withholding portions of the facilities' Medicare reimbursements. In March of 2010, NRHA provided comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) relating to "Stage One Meaningful Use" standards.  Included in these comments was a request to extend the time-frame for incentive payments and delay the penalty period so as to allow more facilities to become "Meaningful Users".  NRHA reiterated some of the concerns from those comments again in April of 2011 in a comment letter relating to ONC's "Five Year Strategic Plan" for moving to EHRs. A number of other organizations have also expressed concerns relating to the timeline for implementation proposed by CMS. Politico documents some of the concerns here.