Anthony Guerra pointed me to an article by Protima Advani at iHealthBeat which contains some very important advice about whether you should consider attesting to Meaningful Use (MU) and go for incentive money in 2011 or 2012. Here is what Protima writes (bold, emphasis mine).
The registration process and reporting period for the meaningful use incentive program officially commenced on Jan. 3. More than 21,000 health care providers have registered to date and many more are ramping up efforts to meet meaningful use criteria and collect federal incentives in fiscal year 2011. However, rushing out the gates in FY 2011 is extremely risky and not advisable. In fact, the Advisory Board Company strongly recommends waiting until FY 2012 to first demonstrate meaningful use.
The idea is pretty simple — if you go early for stage 1 of MU (this year) then you will be required to go early for stage 2 of MU which is not even defined yet; early adopters of stage 1 will be at risk because they will have less time to move to stage 2 MU than those who start in 2012. Here’s the explanation in the iHealthBeat article of why you should wait:
- Compressed, unreasonable timeline for achieving Stage 2
- No incentives lost for starting in FY 2012
- Building with a more complete information set
This is an important article and worth reading.