On my twitter stream I was getting a number of skeptics around my previous post about meaningful use and EHR certification being simplified by CMS (Medicare & Medicaid Services). They seemed a bit surprised that CMS would simplify meaningful EHR use.
Let me add a little more content and context to why Marc Probst thinks the way he does about this subject and why I wholeheartedly agree with him that MU and certified EHR’s final rules will be simpler than they are in their current form.
One of the most compelling reasons Marc gave was when he talked about a meeting he had with David Brailer. In their meeting David Brailler told Marc Probst that “Meaningful use will be a small bump in the road.” Marc then described David Brailler’s reasoning. Basically, the EHR stimulus package is only $20 billion (yes, I rounded to make the math nicer) of spending by the government after you take into account the penalties and other savings they should achieve. If you look at that spending over the number of years it will be given out we’re looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion per year (another round number) of spending by the government. Then, the all important question:
Is CMS going to put a bunch of major roadblocks in the way of the government spending $3 billion per year on EHR?
Of course the answer could be discussed, but the point is that $3 billion in the government’s budget is nothing. Yes, I’m cringing while typing that, but it’s true. That’s why David Brailer is dead on when he says that meaningful EHR use will be a small bump in the road.
Personally, I think this is a great thing. I’ve been arguing that the barriers to this money are too high that it would be a mistake for doctors and clinics to focus too much of their energy on getting the EHR stimulus money. Now if those barriers were to lower, we’d not only see the increase in interest in EHR software, but we’d also see a significant and meaningful increase in adoption and purchase of EHR software. Then, the fun really begins.