Meaningful Use: Is It Really Going Away or Just Hiding?

Leigh Page


April 20, 2016

In This Article

Considering the Future of Your EHR

9. If I'm thinking of getting a new EHR, should I wait until the new program is out -- or will that not matter?

It's better to wait at least until the proposed regulations come out around June 1. Slavitt has indicated there will be major changes in MU standards, which could radically change what you need your EHR to do, but he has not provided enough detail to know what specifically what these changes will be.

However, you can start thinking about the general direction MU might take. For example, Slavitt said that EHRs should be customized to the needs of each practice, suggesting that MU rules wouldn't be dictating your choice of EHR. Instead, the main factor in EHR choice would be value-based payment arrangements, which are being ushered in under MACRA. These include shared savings, patient-centered medical homes, and bundled payments.

Under value-based arrangements, your EHR would need to be interoperable with other systems to help you exchange data with other providers. You would need to keep close track of patients through robust patient portals and links with patients' mobile devices. And your EHR should help you develop clinical registries to track patients and help you compare your quality outcomes with national benchmarks.

10. Do MU administrators admit that the original program was a big mistake?

Slavitt and Dr DeSalvo weren't present at the creation of MU, so they cannot take personal responsibility for any mistakes that occurred then. Slavitt arrived at CMS in 2014, and Dr DeSalvo took her current post about 2 years ago.

Slavitt has been quite critical of MU. "Regulations in their current form slow [physicians] down, create documentation burden and often distract them from patient care," Slavitt told[10] a meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society on March 2. "They find their EHR technology hard to use and cumbersome. It slows them down [and] doesn't speed their path to answers."

Slavitt's comments about how MU has to change have impressed many healthcare IT experts, including Dr Wachter. "What I get out of Andy Slavitt's comments is that CMS recognizes that the way MU as structured is not working, and that changes in the program need to happen," he says.


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