Earlier this week the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced the selection of the final two regional extension centers (RECs). The two RECs provide coverage for Orange County California and the state of New Hampshire. This brings the total count up to 62 and completes the national network of RECs.
RECs are taksed with the mission of helping 100,000 primary care providers becoming “meaningful users” (MU) of EHRs in less than 24 months. Individually, each REC is required to help at least 1,000 providers reach MU status. Those funded this month have the best chance at reaching this goal. Not only do they have a full two years ahead of them, they’ll also be able to learn best practices from RECs in other regions. However, the clock is ticking for RECs funded in February and April of this year; they have just 17 and 19 months left.
Software Advice is hosting a poll asking whether or not we in the health IT community think that RECs are being wreckless. They want to know if you think RECs will deliver on their mission to help 100,000 providers reach “meaningful use” status. To participate, visit the poll here.
The poll also coincides with an article they’ve written on “Five Reasons RECs are RECkless.” In their opinion, there are five fundamental flaws with RECs:
- Doctor’s aren’t moving as fast as the money is flowing
- The market already delivers on what RECs promise
- “Preferred vendor lists” limit choice and free markets
- RECs won’t get doctors to “meaningful use” fast enough
- The REC model leads to under-staffed, ephemeral entities
These flaws lead to one thing we know to be true: physicians have to want to implement EHRs because they truly believe in the promise of the technology. Truly meaningful use will require physicians’ conviction that EHRs will improve the practice of medicine, the profitability of private practice, and the lifestyle of the provider. Only that conviction will motivate physicians to take charge and lead their practice’s adoption of EHRs.”
What do you think about the RECs? Be sure to participate in their poll or share your opinion in the comments section below.