Delays in EHR Stimulus Time Frame

About a month ago I read an interesting post by Will Weider, CIO of Ministry Health Care and Affinity Health System, where Will is the first to announce delays in the HITECH Act (ARRA) EHR stimulus money. To make his case he gives two reasons for his belief:

  1. In my experience, government mandates delays are the rule
  2. This EHR deadlines are completely unreasonable

HHS finally has Kathleen Sebelius in as secretary and so that should help move things along. However, I have to agree with Will that the EHR stimulus money will be delayed.

I’m not really blaming HHS or ONC or any other government organization for this. The HITECH Act (ARRA) guidelines are so vague that they should take their time and make sure the $18 billion is spent wisely. Luckily, I feel like David Blumenthal seems to understand the importance of the decisions they make as far as what’s defined as a “certified EHR” and meaningful use. That’s a good thing and it’s better to do things slowly than to do things poorly.

This will be bad news for all those EHR vendors who aren’t selling products. More delays on the definitions of these two things could put a number of EHR vendors in trouble (as I’ve spoken about a few times before).

I think we’re in for a really interesting year for those interested in selecting an EHR and the EHR space. I wonder if the first person to get a stimulus check from the government will take a picture and post it on Twitter or some blog. That will be a momentous occasion indeed.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • The deadlines are unreasonable only if your idea of reason is efforting a shift in the center of gravity of opinion a few impressions one way or the other. There is very little to be learned in this way about what players think can win against competition when that competition is limited to marketing. Once players make a break for the finish, we will see what instincts for winning are telling each player. Some of those instincts will be grounded in the experience of market power and some on delivering a killer app. The closer the deadline, the sooner they will break for it.

  • Nice suggestions. Some of which we covered here and some which we haven’t. The main point though is that some real work needs to be done to make certification and meaningful use work.

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