You will be better off waiting until FY 2012 on Meaningful Use

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.

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6 thoughts on “You will be better off waiting until FY 2012 on Meaningful Use

  1. Pingback: Waiting until 2012 on attestation for Meaningful Use doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy an EHR in 2011

  2. John,
    Your blog title is misleading as it Protima's. She is focused on hospital physicians only.

    It is somewhat irresponsible to make such a generalized statement for the vast number of non-affiliated physicians. These physicians are going to take a while to ramp to using EMRs. 2011 and 2012 give them that ramp time.

    As long as EHRs meet stage 2 criteria correctly, it should not be very hard for these physicians to meet those criteria either.
    Hospitals are different story.

    Abhi

    1. Abhi, Protima's analysis (at the bottom of her posting) indicated that she felt the same way about Physician Pratices (she wasn't focused on hospitals only, I think). She wrote “In fact, the same rationale and recommendations hold true for hospitals aiming to collect Medicare incentives for their physician practices. Similar to hospitals, physicians also have to achieve Stage 2 of meaningful use by Jan. 1, 2013 (physician meaningful use schedules are based on the calendar year) if they first demonstrate meaningful use in CY 2011. Making the leap to Stage 2 in six to nine months after the release of the final Stage 2 rule will be impossible for most practices for the reasons discussed above.”

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