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Monday, May 30, 2011

Meaningful Use, or meaningless "hoopla"?

From Healthcare IT News the other day:
Is Meaningful Use Really Just a Bunch of Hoopla?
May 27, 2011 | Jennifer Dennard

There seems to have been a wave recently of articles, blogs and general sentiment by providers that – surprise, surprise – jumping through the hoops of Meaningful Use may be more trouble than it’s worth. This sentiment is nothing new, of course. Meaningful Use has had its detractors from day one. But the healthcare IT evangelists and the government has always carried the larger voice, and spoken through a much larger PR machine.

So why now? Why does it seem that the detractors are more vocal? Is it because providers are further along in the attestation processes, and have a better understanding of the true value to their particular bottom lines – particularly smaller physician practices and hospitals with correspondingly smaller budgets?

Is it because the funding handed out by the government to entities such as regional extension centers for marketing purposes has dried up, precluding them from continuing to spread the good word?

...I’d like everyone to take a few days over the holiday weekend to think about this. Come back to the healthcare IT-mindset on Tuesday refreshed, not-too-sunburned, and ready to comment on what you think the general sentiment around Meaningful Use seems to be at this point.

Be interesting to see the volume and tenor of comments. I posted the first one under the article (May 31st). We'll see what (if anything) ensues.


All of three comments to date, including mine. No "hoopla" there.


Prominent national health associations publish tough criticisms of the new final ACO rule
...Dark Daily predicts that implementation of ACOs will be one of the single most disruptive reforms contained in the ObamaCare bill that became law in 2010...
Richard L. Reece, MD
Why Accountable Care Organizations are destined to fail, and may not even get off the ground, is no mystery to me. Why would hospitals and physicians join together to form an organization that requires $11 million $26 million to form (AHA estimate); that demands an inordinate amount of time, trouble, and grief to negotiate; that is designed, even guaranteed, to decrease reimbursements of hospitals and doctors; that hands over the reins of dispensing “savings” to your competitors and the government; that CMS may choose to reduce in the future; that subjects you to the risk of being sued by the Department of Justice for monopoly behavior; that requires you to be accountable financially for the behavior and complications of populations of patients before, during, and after hospitalization over whom you have little control; that 94% of members of the Medical Group Association of 400 integrated health organizations, supposedly ideal candidates for ACOs, have said they will choose not to join. Hospitals, doctors, and leaders of integrated health organizations are not dimwitted lemmings anxious to jump off the ACO cliff into an unknown abyss.

One last ACO smackdown for now...
Matthews: Berwick’s Accountable Care Organizations Similar to Clinton-Era ‘Managed Competition’

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