Meaningful Use Turns Out – Not That Meaningful
While phase 3 of Meaningful Use legislation was slated to begin in 2017, it may soon be replaced. The Meaningful Use is a program designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to encourage physicians to use electronic health records (EHRs) to improve patient care. While a good idea in theory, deployment created complications and distractions for physicians. Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt indicated that changes are on the horizon.
Apparently Meaningful Use wasn’t as meaningful as planned according to “Slavitt: Meaningful Use is all but dead,” posted by Neil Versel on MedCityNews.com. Slavitt tweeted hints during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference suggesting that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act will soon be replaced by something better. The program was intended to encourage healthcare facilities to move from inefficient paper-based files to EHRs. Embracing modern technology can improve the consistency of collecting patient data, get patients in and out of the facility quicker, and improve productivity within the healthcare setting while also improving patient care. Meaningful Use included a specific set of criteria for healthcare facilities to follow in order to receive incentives and avoid penalties. Unfortunately, for many facilities, the program became distracting and time-consuming. Physicians were growing more frustrated with the process instead of satisfied by the results. On top of that, interoperability became an even bigger burden. Due to the combination of strict patient privacy regulations and disparate technology, patient data was essentially blocked from sharing and there were accusations that it was intentional in some situations.
Slavitt indicated that we may learn more about the future of the healthcare incentive programs on March 25th and suggested that the new programs will put the focus on patient outcomes instead of technology. However, healthcare facilities don’t need to wait until the spring to make improvements. Replacing aging legacy systems or inefficient paper-based systems with modern business management solutions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software can prepare healthcare networks for these pending legislative changes. Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions to learn how these more powerful solutions can streamline common tasks, get your team closer to both business and patient data, and improve the patient experience.