Many EMR vendors have been announcing all sorts of guarantees about the EMR stimulus money. I think this is probably a smart move for many of these EMR vendors. It’s one more tool in the belt of their EMR salespeople. However, I think it’s worth considering an instance where someone thinks that their stimulus money is guaranteed and they end up with Nothing.
Let’s say a doctor’s office submits proof of meaningful use (however this will actually be done) and CMS comes back with a rejection letter. Who knows, maybe they didn’t record the preferred language or ethnicity of each patient. Maybe they weren’t able to report immunizations to the immunization registry properly. Whatever it is, they get a notification that they’ve been denied the EMR stimulus money.
Of course, this doctor isn’t worried, because their EMR vendor guaranteed them the stimulus money. So, they turn to their EMR vendor to collect the money.
What the doctor didn’t make note of was that in the guarantee of the EMR vendor, it says something about the doctor’s responsibility versus the EMR vendor. Basically, the EMR vendor just has to provide the capability to receive the stimulus money. They can’t guarantee that you’ll actually use their software the way they want you to and be able to get the stimulus money.
Using the examples above, the EMR vendor wouldn’t be responsible if the feature for tracking preferred language and ethnicity is available in the software and you just chose not to record it. At least that will likely be their argument. It’s also not their responsibility if you didn’t record the immunizations in the granular format that was needed to be able to report it to the immunization registry.
Point being that the EMR vendor is guaranteeing that the software is capable of getting the EMR stimulus money. They’re not guaranteeing that YOU will get the money. You are still responsible for understanding the 692 pages of Meaningful Use documentation to make sure you’re using all your EMR’s features that will get you the EMR stimulus money.
Just don’t be surprised if you ask your EMR vendor to make good on their guarantee and you get blamed for not getting the EMR stimulus money and end up with nothing.