The Dark Report recently developed an article “Meaningful Use Stage 2 to Challenge Labs in 2014” which was focused on the perfect storm is brewing for information technology (IT) departments in hospitals, laboratories and medical clinics.
This perfect storm will be caused by the need to meet meaningful use (MU) requirements at nearly the same time that physicians, hospitals, and clinical laboratories must switch from ICD-9 codes to the more-complex ICD-10 coding system that starts on October 1, 2014.
The good news for labs was that on December 6, 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed extending the period providers need to demonstrate compliance with Meaningful Uses 2 by one year, which effectively extends MU Stage 2 compliance through 2016 and stage 3 through 2017 pro providers who have completed at least two years in Stage 2.
Ken Willett, Vice President, Health IT Strategy for Liaison Healthcare Informatics stated “With these extensions will have to juggle their priorities. Because of the uncertainty about what providers will need to do to meet the requirements of MU Stage 2, this proposed delay will take some pressure off IT departments.”
“Lab managers should know that many of the companies Ken referenced above are well established and had robust functionality established years before meaningful use was even a term used to describe an EHR system’s functionality,” declared Pat Wolfram, Liaison Healthcare’s Director of EMR and Lab Integration. “What we see now in the EHR market is that a number of smaller companies that shipped new EHRs over the past six years have only achieved MU Stage 1 compliance. Now, in order to meet MU2, they have a great deal of work to accomplish.”