Providers not in MU program still influenced by federal requirements

The Meaningful Use incentive program affects even providers who are not part of the program, albeit in an indirect way, an interview published this week in EHR Intelligence shows.

Brock Morris, CIO of Pediatric Associates in Washington State, says in an interview that his practice is still influenced by the Meaningful Use program even though most of its 85 physicians don't qualify for the program and are not participants.

For instance, he says, the practice's EHR system--as are most--is geared toward meeting the Meaningful Use requirements. Using an EHR also enables the practice to prepare to share data along the care continuum, which is important for patient care.  

"If a child goes to the ER for an accident, our doctors want to know about it," Morris says. "We're a heavy referral source for the hospitals, so we want to be able to share our record with them and vice versa with our doctors rounding as well on the kids there."

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has expressed concern in the past about the need for providers not participating in the incentive program, such as long term and post acute providers, to embrace EHRs. It published an issue brief earlier this year about the need for even non Meaningful Users to explore the adoption of EHRs and share data electronically to improve care coordination.

Studies have also shown that EHRs help to improve children's health, boosting vaccine efficiency and increasing flu vaccination rates. Vendors also are beginning to turn their eye toward children's health to customize EHRs for pediatric care.

To learn more:
- read the full interview at EHR Intelligence