Halamka: Stage 2 Meaningful Use, ICD-10 Timelines Unrealistic

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | November 20, 2013

The current slew of health IT initiatives slated to hit the healthcare industry over the next year or so place unrealistic expectations on beleaguered providers, says Beth Israel Deaconess CIO John Halamka in a new blog post.  Between Stage 2 of meaningful use, ICD-10 implementation, the HIPAA Omnibus rule, and the Affordable Care Act, providers simply have too much to handle in too short a timeframe to make everything work the way rule makers hope it will.

“People are working hard.   Priority setting is appropriate.   Funding is available,” Halamka says.  “The problem is that the scope is too big and the timeline is too short. The well-meaning people who devised the policy principles did not take into account the operational requirements to do all this work simultaneously.”

One of the biggest problems is more or less outside of the provider’s control, he notes.  Certification for Stage 2 EHR products is inching along at a snail’s pace, and there is a serious risk that the majority of products simply won’t be ready in time for providers to implement them and complete their Stage 2 reporting in the current timeframe.  “I believe that we could see hundreds of hospitals fail to attest to Meaningful Use stage 2 by the current deadline, despite their best efforts,” Halamka predicts.