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Hitting the Snooze Button on the HITECH Act Funding

April 13, 2009
by Pete Rivera
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The battle is on to cut budgets

The battle is on to cut budgets, survive the next few lean months and keep operations going. But what is missing is the solid strategy for organizations and individual providers to capitalize on the HITECH funds that will soon be available. Looking at some of the numbers, here is what it looks like for Providers:

Starting

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Totals

Year

             

2011

$18,000

$12,000

$8,000

$4,000

$2,000

$0

$44,000

2012

 

$18,000

$12,000

$8,000

$4,000

$2,000

$44,000

2013

   

$15,000

$12,000

$8,000

$4,000

$39,000

2014

     

$12,000

$8,000

$4,000

$24,000

2015

       

$0

$0

$0

And this is the estimated funding available for hospitals:

Start

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Totals

Date

             

2011

$1,256,733

$942,550

$628,367

$314,183

$0

$0

$3,143,844

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Comments

That should read '..the best position to reap the rewards of their decision and timing'...

Pete,

Thanks for the overview. I think the timeframes set forth by the administration are very aggressive, and maybe a little unrealistic for providers who are interested in moving to an EMR for the first time (or after a long time). I'm thinking about resources. The resources to certify the vendor software, the capital resources to acquire systems, the resources to implement, the resources to integrate .... Are there enough resources to get all this done by 2010? A clinical system implementation can take two or more years in a typical hospital. Will facilities rush to 'jam in' an EMR without regard to user needs/buy-in, in order to qualify for Federal funds? Will vendors throw untrained resources into implementation to try to expedite the possible pipeline of sales?

Providers who have made investments in systems that are CCHIT certified (and likely to re-certify) will probably be in the best good position to reap the rewards of their ion and timing. Others may need more time . . .

These are important questions you've raised. I think there's a potential for CIOs to feel pulled in two directions at once. Consultants and analysts seem to be telling them to hurry to get in vendors' queues so as not to miss out on incentive payments, but also that the implementation must be part of a larger strategic initiative that (supposedly) you have already defined. Good luck getting to meaningful use by 2010 if you haven't already set the strategy.

Excellent points. I am also concerned with those that will put in a "shell" EHR without fully integrating with RX, LAB and other ancillary interfaces. This will be a sure fire way to frustrate providers and making them use both an electronic and paper system.

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Pete Rivera

Director Informatics, Hayes Management Consulting

Pete Rivera

@Gator_Pete

www.Hayesmanagement.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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