My message for today is that the more complex any system becomes, the less likely it is that people will continue to participate in it. Not that I don’t have the intelligence or technical capabilities to do it, but the question becomes simply, how do I want to spend my lunch hour? My nights? My weekends? Last year I tested this hypothesis by trying to participate in PQRI, the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, a sort of baby MU. It clearly established to me that every extra step, mouse click, and check mark that I need to take on a daily basis to accomplish a governmental agency’s artificial and seemingly arbitrary rule set becomes at odds with my free time and thus my happiness. Even though I collected and reported back data for PQRI to CMS throughout 2010, I won’t even learn if I will be reimbursed any incentive until, after a long data crunching process, at the end of 2011. Who would want to participate in working for a paycheck that comes a year later? I’ll be eagerly awaiting hearing from my colleagues about how MU incentives go since I’m out of Medicare as of July 1.
Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009. He can be reached at email@example.com.