The more than two-dozen participants chosen to move on to Stage 1 of the challenge include Accenture, Geisinger, IBM, Mayo Clinic, Merck, Northrop Grumman and others.
4 former national coordinators, a CIO and a CEO weigh in on how to fix meaningful use
Meaningful use essentially digitized the healthcare system arguably faster than any other sector of the U.S. economy. But as with so many federal government programs, laws, rules and regulations, that is not even close to suggesting the endeavor was an indisputable success.
Could the total $37 billion paid out thus far, according to newest summary report CMS posted, have been spent more wisely? Did the program succeed or fail? Perhaps the most critical question right now is: looking to the future what should the federal government’s role be?
“We believe that now is the time to step back and recalibrate the role of the federal government on the basis of lessons learned,” John Halamka, MD, and Micky Tripathi wrote in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Both Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, have been involved with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s work fostering the meaningful use EHR incentive program.
Tripathi and Halamka put forth four suggestions for the government’s role moving forward: dramatically simplify the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System to focus on interoperability and streamline quality measures; overhaul EHR certification to focus exclusively on interoperability; encourage interoperability by action not by regulation; and, lastly, incentivize the use of application programming interfaces such as FHIR.
Manufacturers should make safe connectivity a central part of their design process and clearly communicate devices’ interface characteristics, the agency says.