Our May Health TechNet meeting focused on the requirements for hospitals and physicians to meet the definition of "meaningful users" of HIT in order to qualify for the substantial Part A and Part B incentive payments under the new stimulus legislation.
There have been a great deal of discussion and several public meetings on this subject, but little published guidance from the Administration to date. There is broad consensus that "meaningful use" should be defined such that higher quality and higher value care is differentially rewarded. There is far from universal agreement on the best way to define meaningful use, and several sources for standards, including HIMSS, CCHIT, NCVHS, and HITSP may be utilized by the government in crafting rules and regulations.
In this regard, the meeting featured the presentations of Joyce Hunter of Vulcan Enterprises, Dr. Joe Bormel of QuadraMed, and Paul Alexander Clark of the Health Management Academy. Ms. Hunter, who serves on the board of the National Capital Area Chapter of HIMSS and on the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) provided us with an overview on the Policy and Standards Perspective while Dr. Bormel gave us an overview from the EHR Vendor Perspective (HIMSS-EHRA); finally, Mr. Clark, who is currently conducting a detailed survey of large healthcare system perspectives, provided us with an overview from the Health Management Academy perspective.
There was also an active discussion on the implementation of the HIT provisions of the Stimulus Bill and the standards for health information technology that it will establish for our industry for many years to come. Presentations of two of the speakers are attached (the third is not attached as it is still under development).