What if Meaningful Use turns out to be no more relevant to EHR than agriculture is to bull fighting? Even worse, what if meeting Meaningful Use (MU) damages a provider’s business?
There is a world of difference between EHR and Meaningful Use. It is a square and rectangle proposition. All instances of MU require an EHR. However, all EHRs do not require MU.
When I evaluate changing a business strategy, I like to do so under the following test:
- Is it necessary?
- Is it sufficient?
For the strategy to be beneficial to an organization it must be both necessary and sufficient.
Let us begin with whether MU is necessary. Necessary for what—to make the provider’s caring for its patients better; to make their business better. MU does neither. Implementing an EHR, though it is optional, is important. So is meeting MU. The last time I checked, there were no long queues in Madison to grab an EHR, and no people camping outside of the CMS offices to be first in line for the ARRA money. MU does not pass the test of necessity.
Does MU pass the test of sufficiency? Is it adequate? Again, for what? The way to answer this question is to ask, “How would your organization implement EHR if MU did not exist”? your answer to this question defines what is necessary.
Much of MU has to do with how EHR is implemented and adopted. For all the attention vendors are paying to MU, it is a bit nonsensical. Most of the onus on MU is tied to the provider. The most the vendor can offer is that they will not do anything to encumber a provider’s chances of meeting MU. Many of these vendors are the ones who will require you to implement an upgraded version of their product in order to meet certification.
In closing, will the MU money run out? On the contrary, I think they will not be able to give it away.