I actually thought this was a parody from the site Gomerblog. I was sent this article with title 100 Hours of Meaningful Use Stage 2 Attestation: A Success Story and just started giggling. Then when I started to read it I realized it was actually real!
Here are some highlights, none were intended to be a joke. Try not to laugh out loud:
- It wouldn’t happen quite that quickly, but the internal medicine doctor — who runs Symphony Medical Group, a busy, small practice in the Chicago suburbs — nonetheless finished attesting to 17 meaningful use core criteria and three measures from a “menu” of six more difficult criteria, including eight new categories new to stage 2, in six months. Maybe not record time, but pretty close.
- The work did, indeed, take a lot of her time, which Kahn squeezed in around tending to the 800 or so patients she cares for along with a part-time doctor, a medical assistant, an office administrator and some part-time help. There was no CIO or IT director to assist; she was it. But it was well worth it, Kahn said. “For me, the decision I made starting with stage 1 is that technology can make me a better doctor,” she said. “The decision to do this was a long-term investment on my part.”
- While Kahn said attesting to most of the criteria was “easy,” two meaningful use stage 2 requirements in particular — both involving patient engagement and both of which seem to be the thorniest to attest to for docs in smaller practices — were anything but simple. Some of the easy tasks were moving an all-electronic prescription system (except for controlled substances, for which the DEA still requires paper in most cases), and such things as electronically recording and charting demographic and vital sign data for at least 80% of patients.
- In the end, finishing the attestation process was just a matter of wanting to do it. Kahn just laughed when asked whether it was worth the potential total of $43,720 in federal incentive payments over five years, assuming enough of her business was Medicare-driven. “We were highly motivated to do it,” Kahn said. “In the end did I make money or lose money? It was just part of an overall strategy of excellence in healthcare. That’s the path I wanted to be on.”
Now raise your hand if you either didn’t laugh or didn’t want to puke?