The Tip of the Iceberg on Doubtful Meaningful Use Reporting
It was just a matter of time before it was said out loud. The ability of ONC-ATCB certified EHRs to accurately generate meaningful use data is being brought into question. A complete EHR must be able to “electronically record the numerator and denominator and generate a report including the numerator, denominator, and resulting percentage associated with each applicable meaningful use measure.” This module, Automate Measure Calculation, generates the data that is used to successfully attest for the CMS EHR Incentives. Regional Extension Centers, ONC-ATCBs, and anyone else close to the functionality of EHRs know that the credibility of this data coming out of EHRs is subject question.
Now the first major vendor has notified customers of the problem with the statement: “GE Healthcare recently became aware of inaccuracies with reports in Centricity Practice Solution and Centricity Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that may affect customers who have attested or are currently planning to attest for Meaningful Use through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.” A copy of the full letter sent to GE Centricity customer is available here.
There are numerous reasons that the reportable data coming out of EHRs is suspect: incorrect assumptions by developers of ONC guidance on how to generate the measures, complicated documentation workflow requirements for providers, inaccurate algorithms, just to name a few. The real headache is what must be done to work out a process for those that have already attested with what they now know is possibly inaccurate data. I hope all EHR vendors are paying attention because it is just a matter of time before they have their “GE moment”.
Jim Tate is a nationally recognized expert on the CMS EHR Incentive Program, certified technology and meaningful use. He will be presenting an upcoming exclusive HITECH Answers e-learning event: Roadmap for Physician Specialists: How to Earn EHR Incentives. Click here to learn more.
Modern technology has been a blessing for healthcare providers. Each advancement in medical tech improves the ability of doctors to diagnose and treat patients. However, that dependence on advanced tech inherently entails a certain degree of risk.