REC Timeline on EHR Services and Meaningful Use Vanguard Program

In December I got an email newsletter from one of the RECs (REACH) that had some interesting information in it.

The first thing that was interesting was the number of providers that this REC had signed up along with critical access and rural hospitals. A decent number I’d say for this REC. I also love the part at the end where they said that Doctors had to sign up by the end of the year to get their “deeply discounted rates.” I’d be interested to know what the rates were before and after. Here’s the section that applies:

The Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health Information Technology (REACH) is only able to offer the federal discounts for electronic health record (EHR) services for a little while longer, under its current agreement with the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC).

REACH is currently working with 520 priority primary care providers, 56 in North Dakota and 464 in Minnesota. The program is also working with 20 critical access/rural hospitals, six in North Dakota and 14 in Minnesota.

All new REACH contracts need to be initiated before December 31 to receive the deeply discounted rates. Contact us to determine if REACH is right for you, 877-331-8783, ext. 222. Register for services >

The other interesting part from the newsletter was the ONC Meaningful Use Vanguard Program. Here’s the details as they describe it below.

Health care clinicians who have begun to make the successful transition to an EHR and are using their system as a clinical management tool have an opportunity to participate in a national movement developed by ONC called Meaningful Use Vanguard (MUV).

This exclusive group of champions of EHR adoption and meaningful use will be recognized as local leaders, advisors, and role models in the move toward an electronically-enabled health care system. There are no mandatory requirements if one is identified as a MUVer.

In addition to being recognized as a leader, MUVers can:
• Get access to an exclusive online community of EHR leaders to collaborate, participate, and advance knowledge
• Join a conversation on related topics with other MUVers regionally and nationally
• Be an advisor to REACH and ONC on testing of new tools and materials
• Give feedback on meaningful use and other policy developments

MUVers are health care clinicians who meet any of the following criteria:
• Made the transition to paperless records
• Applied experience in using EHR as a clinical management tool
• Experience with data exchange (eRx or labs)
• Experience with advanced application of EHR (e.g. population health management)
• A willingness to share their experience and knowledge with others

REACH may be contacting you about becoming a MUVer. REACH clients who are interested in this recognition, should contact their REACH consultant.

I’d love to hear some ongoing feedback from someone in the meaningful use vanguard (or should I say a MUVer) program. I’ll be interested to see what information and resources are provided to the MUVer doctors.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, 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.