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2014 Health IT Spending to Pass $34 Billion

Healthcare IT spending will increase to more than $34.5 billion in 2014, according to a new report from a Hampton, N.H.-based research and consulting firm.

Technology Business Research Inc. says that the spending will come as payers and providers look to build infrastructure modernization that meets regulatory mandates such as Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHRs) under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the transition to ICD-10. -Source

We certainly all knew that health IT spending was up. I’m sure that much of the spending is driven by the various government programs like meaningful use and ICD-10. The article linked above had one survey respondent say that their ICD-10 budget was $2.5 million. I expect this health IT spending trend will continue. Although, we’re entering a different category of customer going forward.

I wonder how that spending is broken out between enterprise spending and consumer health IT.

August 30, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

The Impact of EHR Certification

In the comments of my post on EMR and EHR titled EHR Vendors Using EHR Certification Excuse, Jeff offered a frank comment about the realities EHR vendors face in this current climate:

I went through EHR certification for a EHR product – for the sake of this discussion it can remain nameless as you can insert any EHR name and it will share the same issues. The process was cumbersome and I agree is not worthwhile for our clients. However at least 90% of our clients were requesting it and all of our sales pipelines say they required it. The interaction you describe I have had. I don’t think it’s the fault of us as a vendor as much as the short sightedness of the committee that created the certification rules. We had to implement fields/screens/buttons that served no purpose in the type of practice we supplied our software to. That did not matter to the certification proctor, we had to show it or we failed and lost a lot of money. Getting certified threw off our development cycle at least 6 months. During that time we had to push off many good customer requested enhancements. In hindsight would our customers prefer we did not get certified – probably, but could our company take a chance at not being able to renew contracts or get new sales. No way, not for a government mandated push.

This reminds me of a video I recently saw that asked the question, “What do we want EHR certification to do?” The problem here is that I think everyone has a different answer to that question. Until we define what EHR certification should really accomplish, it’s hard to make criteria that are beneficial and easy to understand. In the rush to meet the regulatory requirements I think we missed creating the bigger vision of why we’re doing EHR certification at all. That’s why we’re where we’re at today.

October 24, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule Published

UPDATE: For those not wanting to go through all 672 pages of the meaningful use stage 2 final rule, ONC has put out this summary PDF.

Today, CMS publishes the meaningful use Stage 2 Final rule in the Federal Register. The MU stage 2 final rule is 672 pages long.

The HHS press release announcing the EHR incentive money stage 2 final rule also offered these important points to note:

  • Make clear that stage two of the program will begin as early as 2014. No providers will be required to follow the Stage 2 requirements outlined today before 2014.
  • Outline the certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they use will work, help them meaningfully use health information technology, and qualify for incentive payments.
  • Modify the certification program to cut red tape and make the certification process more efficient.
  • Allow current “2011 Edition Certified EHR Technology” to be used until 2014.

The second point annoys me a little after hearing about some of the EHR certification fraud and issues it could cause providers that attest to meaningful use.

The press release also offered the following EHR incentive participation numbers:
-120,000 Eligible Health Professionals have participated
-3,300 Hospitals have participated
-More than half of all eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals and 1 out of every 5 eligible health care professionals

Watch for more detailed coverage of the meaningful use stage 2 final rule in our ongoing Meaningful Use Monday series.

August 23, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Disturbing: Empty EHR Meaningful Use Reports

Melissa Joubert offered this comment on a LinkedIn thread I was following that I found incredibly disturbing:

This and many other barriers currently exist. For example, some systems that claim to be certified for meaningful use simply don’t offer a fully integrated report module. I have seen cases where either the numbers are skewed, or there are no numbers showing at all even when a practice swears they are entering all necessary data.

Have you seen this happening as well? Have you seen certified EHR software that can’t report the proper meaningful use numbers? If this was widespread I’d think that we’d have heard more people complaining about it. What’s been your experience?

August 8, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

EMR Market Numbers and Number of EHR Vendors with 0 Meaningful Use Attestations

Since I’ve kind of turned EMR Thoughts into an EMR and healthcare IT market website, I feel I should definitely point out this post I did on EMR and HIPAA about the Meaningful Use EHR Vendor Breakout by Percentage. It’s a really interesting post looking at which EHR vendors are doing well with meaningful use attestation and a look at what that means in the broader EHR market.

In the comments, Dr. Rowley (who first posted some of the meaningful use numbers) offered this added insight that I think is worth highlighting:

Here’s another observation on the ambulatory EHR market. If you look at all the Certified complete EHRs on the CMS CHPL list, and compare that to the HHS Meaningful Use list from data.gov, you will see that 284 vendors had products that were used (at least once) for MU attestion; however 295 additional vendors had NO usage of their products for MU attestation in 2011. More argument to a very crowded field, and lots of products in the market with perhaps no usage (or, at least, no Meaningful Usage).

Nearly 300 EHR vendors are listed on the list of Complete Certified EHR and had 0 meaningful use attestations! Wow! I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised since I even know a number of EHR vendors that still aren’t complete EHR certified. The volume of EHR companies is just astounding to me though.

These will be important numbers to look at near the end of 2012. We’ll see how many of those nearly 300 EHR companies still don’t have any meaningful use attestations.

June 21, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Ruined Healthcare IT Words

I know that I spend far too much time talking, writing, tweeting, posting, commenting, obsessing over everything EMR and Healthcare IT related, but doing so has had some interesting consequences when it comes to certain words or abbreviations. Let me give you some examples of Healthcare IT words or abbreviations that have been tainted one way or another.

Meaningful – I honestly can’t even use this word any more. Meaningful Use has ruined the word meaningful for me. I definitely can’t use the word meaningful in healthcare anymore without cringing. It’s like a permanent built in pun for meaningful now. Plus, meaningful just isn’t meaningful anymore because it’s been used so much. Meaningful will be forever tainted in my vocabulary.

PHR – I expect we’re going to see the general death of the word PHR. Too many failed EHR softwares have ruined this word. I’m sure we’ll still have many of the functions and features that PHR software offers and many PHR software will be around, but we’re going to see a new branding of what they do. Yesterday I heard one called Patient Relationship Management (PRM I guess) which could be a good replacement for the tainted PHR term.

mHealth – This word is a bit like PHR in that we’re still going to see plenty of mobile health, but I think the term mHealth is going to go away. Eventually mobile will just be an extension of healthcare IT and healthcare in general. We’ll still see some residual naming, but most won’t differentiate.

I’m sure there are a lot more. What other healthcare words or abbreviations have lost life for you?

April 10, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Guidelines in Digestable Format

John Crankshaw and Jonathan Ploudre have put together a look at the meaningful use stage 2 guidelines in the most digestable format I’ve seen. You can find the PDF of their MU stage 2 guidelines here. I wish that it was a webpage instead of a PDF, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess.

I haven’t dug into the document completely to verify the accuracy of every single thing, but I did check a bunch of them and they were spot on. I think doctors will really love this summary of the meaningful use stage 2 guidelines. Hopefully many doctors will look it over and provide comments during the meaningful use stage 2 comment period. You have until May 7, 2012 to comment on MU stage 2.

March 8, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Farzad Mostashari’s Post on Meaningful Use Stage 2 NPRM

I love that Farzad Mostashari and other people at HHS and ONC have been blogging about these exciting times in healthcare IT. Farzad recently did a post about the meaningful use stage 2 NPRM (see this Meaningful Use Monday post on Meaningful Use Stage 2). He starts off the post with some interesting numbers:

to date, more than 43,000 providers have received $3.1 billion to help make the transition to EHRs; the number of hospitals using EHRs has more than doubled in the last two years from 16 to 35 percent between 2009 and 2011; and 85 percent of hospitals now report that by 2015 they intend to take advantage of the incentive payments.

I’ve always found the ONC/CMS/HHS numbers to be a bit higher than reality. Although, I bet their hospital numbers aren’t too far off. There’s little doubt that hospitals are interested in EHR.

Farzad also offered the most succinct view of the 3 stages of meaningful use that I’ve seen. Here’s basically his vision for meaningful use:

  • Stage 1 (which began in 2011 and remains the starting point for all providers): “meaningful use” consists of transferring data to EHRs and being able to share information, including electronic copies and visit summaries for patients.
  • Stage 2 (to be implemented in 2014 under the proposed rule): “meaningful use” includes standards such as online access for patients to their health information and electronic health information exchange between providers.
  • Stage 3 (expected to be implemented in 2016): “meaningful use” includes demonstrating that the quality of health care has been improved.

I posted a comment on the blog post which is still waiting to be approved:

Some very interesting numbers and I appreciate the overall vision of what each stage will do. The first part of this post reminds me of what I heard at HIMSS, that ONC has become more of a marketing organization. I found that interesting since you could easily see why ONC is considered an EHR marketing organization.

These first year numbers are interest, but the second year numbers will matter even more. The first year numbers were likely those who already adopted EHR versus those that implemented EHR post-stimulus. Let’s hope the message that providers offer after they’ve implemented is that they love their EHR. If they start telling their colleagues that they hate the EHR that they were “forced” to implement because of the government carrots and sticks, then it will be quite disappointing.

February 27, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Greenway Medical Users Get $5 Million in EHR Incentive Money


Still tallying but @ customers have received almost $5 Million in #EHR #MeaningfulUse Incentives @ #HealthIT #EMR
@HITAdvisor
Justin Barnes

Back at the end of August I posted the Cerner EHR incentive money total at $2.2 Million. No doubt that’s a lot higher now. However, it’s interesting to compare the totals of Cerner’s EHR incentive money and Greenway’s EHR incentive money.

If you know of other EHR incentive money numbers that are published, please let me know.

November 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Permanent EHR Certification Program (ONC-ACB) Delayed – Is Meaningful Use Stage 2 Delay Next?

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me to see the news (yes it’s a couple days old now) that the permanent EHR certification program (where ONC-ATCB becomes ONC-ACB) has been delayed. It was set to sunset at the end of this year and it would essentially convert into the permanent EHR certification program.

ONC’s Farzad Mostashari put out a letter describing the delay in implementing the permanent EHR certification program in this letter. Here’s one portion of the letter:

ONC pushed the plan back after it consulted with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which ONC selected as its approved accreditor (ONC-AA) earlier this year, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which administers the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). ANSI and NIST said they needed more time to complete the approval of testing labs and certification organizations and ONC to review the applications of the certifiers.

Part of the reasoning for this was for the permanent EHR certification to coincide with the final rule for meaningful use stage 2. I guess it makes sense.

The real challenge I have when thinking about the change from temporary to permanent status is, what will really change? To me this feels mostly like a bureaucratic requirement as opposed to some change that actually provides some sort of benefit.

Will an ONC-ACB provide something of more value than a ONC-ATCB does now? I think not. Will EHR vendors go through a different process with an ONC-ACB compared with what they do now with the ONC-ATCB? I can’t imagine they will. Seems the only ones that should be concerned with this are the ONC-ATCB’s.

Plus, if meaningful use stage 2 gets delayed, then will the permanent EHR certification get delayed again too? Now your ears perk up. Not because anyone cares about the permanent EHR certification, but because a delay in meaningful use stage 2 would be something of note.

November 4, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.