Concerns about vendor readiness have prompted a number of healthcare organizations and associations as well as members of Congress to call for delays or extensions in Stage 2 Meaningful Use. Most recently, these concerns were voiced by a group of 17 senators led by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) which pointed to a lack of EHR vendor readiness as justification for extending the timeline for the next stage of meaningful use.
“Further, the vendors are under tremendous time pressures to ensure their products are certified for the 2014 Edition criteria and have sufficient time to upgrade their products for each hospital or physician client,” they argued in a Sept. 24 letter to Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This time pressure has raised questions about whether such a short period for Stage 2 is in the best long-term interest of the program.”
Perhaps this is the motivation behind Practice Fusion making a serious guarantee that its free EHR offering will be ready for the next phase of the EHR Incentive Programs by year’s end, according statement from he California-based EHR developer.
Per the terms and conditions, eligible professionals who switch from* the company’s certified EHR technology as well as complete other requisite activities will be reimbursed up to $5,000 for their “out-of-pocket licensing fees.”
*Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated that eligible professionals would be able receive reimbursements for switching to rather than from Practice Fusion.
“Meaningful Use has to be drama-free for doctors,” Founder and CEO Ryan Howard said in a public statement. “Being a cloud service means that our Meaningful Use upgrade process is free from the chaos that so many medical practices are currently facing. The response we’ve seen from the medical community this fall has been overwhelming. Practice Fusion is the only vendor that can remove the cost and risks of Meaningful Use upgrades, allowing doctors to collect their stimulus checks without stress.”
According to the company, an overwhelming majority of its users (96.5%) are confident that their EHR system will not be the cause of failing to achieve Stage 2 Meaningful Use. Likewise, an increasing demand for the company’s services has led it to increase the size of its implementation team by 34 percent over the past month.
With estimates indicating that 90 percent of ambulatory EHR vendors won’t be certified according to the 2014 Edition Standards Certification Criteria by Jan. 1, 2013, plenty of eligible providers will have to consider how they will continue their participation in the EHR Incentive Programs which requires the meaningful use of only certified EHR technology.
At the very least for ambulatory providers and practices, it is likely that EHR replacement is the solution to continuing to receive incentives. The question that remains is whether the thousands that Practice Fusion is offering is enough to offset the cost and time required to move from one EHR system to another.
Image Credit: Practice Fusion