|By Marketwired .||
|May 22, 2014 09:47 AM EDT||
SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - May 22, 2014) - The two agencies that oversee the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs -- the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) -- proposed several key changes on May 20, 2014, that will give providers greater flexibility in demonstrating meaningful use in 2014. If approved, the ruling will provide relief to some providers that are experiencing vendor upgrade and certification delays. Additionally, CMS and the ONC recommended additional time to refine Stage 3 logistics and requirements; the proposal includes a provision that extends Stage 2 through 2016, with Stage 3 beginning in 2017.
Michelle Holmes, a principal with ECG Management Consultants, Inc., a Seattle-based health care consulting firm, comments that there is more to this ruling than flexibility with deadlines. "The backdrop of this news is that only 50 eligible professionals and four hospitals have attested for Stage 2 for a variety of reasons, and CMS and the ONC are facing significant dropout rates with the EHR Incentive Program because providers are struggling with Stage 2 requirements. Even the 2014 Stage 1 criteria, with their patient portal requirements, are proving difficult. Organizations are struggling to make operational changes that support patient interaction and encourage patients to engage in new ways," says Holmes.
Holmes also notes that this new flexibility will not alleviate all of the pain points of achieving meaningful use compliance and progress this year. In fact, it creates more uncertainty and challenges. "It's not clear where the burden of proof lies for providers that claim an inability to attest as planned this year due to a delay in the availability of a 2014-certified EHR version. Meanwhile, both the pre-payment and post-payment audit processes for the EHR Incentive Programs are more rigorous. CMS did not define what documentation will be required of providers during an attestation audit to justify their inability to implement a 2014 edition EHR."
Given the caveats and limitations of this announcement, ECG believes that this ruling is not the right answer for the challenges at hand. There are a variety of reasons why providers may not be able to successfully attest for Stage 2 in 2014, with availability of an upgraded EHR being just one of them. In addition, the lack of clarity and guidance regarding the burden of proof for pursuing one of the new 2014 attestation options creates a high-risk proposition as providers struggle to make informed decisions.
Holmes is skeptical about packaging this as something other than a delay of Stage 2. "This proposal could have been crafted without placing blame, creating caveats, and increasing audit risk and opportunities for misinterpretations. A blend of this proposal with the recent suggestions of partial credit from the American Medical Association would strike a simpler balance. Also, solutions that focus on operational support for providers challenged by patient engagement and interoperability requirements should be considered," says Holmes.
ECG clients are expressing frustration about the key changes, noting that after working aggressively to meet requirements, the painful upgrades might have been unnecessary. Early adopters are concerned about being penalized for already implementing a 2014-certified EHR, and those providers feel they may suffer from having to use a sub-optimal product. Some organizations are expressing their intent to largely ignore this week's announcement. Instead of bouncing from one approach to another, they will focus on a thoughtful evaluation of the benefits that the upgrade could bring and move toward a long period of stability with their EHR.
About ECG Management Consultants, Inc.
ECG is a strategic consulting firm that is leading healthcare forward, using the knowledge and expertise built over the course of four decades to help clients see clearly where healthcare is going and to navigate toward success. We work as trusted, professional partners with hospitals, health systems, medical groups, and academic medical centers across the country. We thrive on delivering smart counsel and pragmatic solutions to the critical challenges that will transform the healthcare system. Client success is our primary objective. ECG's national presence includes offices in Seattle, Boston, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.
For more information:
ECG Management Consultants, Inc.
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Dec. 3, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,459
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
Dec. 3, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 4,848
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,567
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 3,215
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 452
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, sha...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 773
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 657
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 497
Regulatory requirements exist to promote the controlled sharing of information, while protecting the privacy and/or security of the information. Regulations for each type of information have their own set of rules, policies, and guidelines. Cloud Service Providers (CSP) are faced with increasing demand for services at decreasing prices. Demonstrating and maintaining compliance with regulations is a nontrivial task and doing so against numerous sets of regulatory requirements can be daunting task...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 692
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 6,949
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 457
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,473
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,121
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 3, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 614
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,865