Health IT Week CIO Series

CHIME CIOs advocate meaningful use stage 2 deadline extension

Don Fluckinger, News Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During National Health IT Week, a variegated group of health IT stakeholders got together to hold up megaphones and shout their causes to anyone who will listen -- especially legislators. EHR vendors, federal policymakers, healthcare providers and payers all add their perspectives to the din.

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CHIME CIOs convinced 17 senators to take up their cause célèbre -- a one-year extension of meaningful use stage 2 deadlines.

Above all this noise, what do the health system CIOs -- who must implement all these policies and technologies -- think? We cut to the chase and interviewed three senior members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) as the group concluded its annual policy strategy meeting at the Henley Park Hotel.

After the meeting, the CHIME group made its way over to Capitol Hill, where they bent the ears of many legislators. The conversations bore some fruit: Since these interviews were conducted by SearchHealthIT, one of the CIOs' ideas -- an extension of meaningful use stage 2 deadlines -- was taken up in a letter from 17 Republican senators to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for just that.

"We are concerned that the onset of stage 2 may further widen the digital divide for small and rural providers who lack the resources of large practices and may not be vendors' top priorities," the senators wrote. "Even if certified products are available to them, simply receiving the software update does not satisfy meaningful use requirements for a hospital or eligible provider."

Next: Interview with Pam McNutt, senior vice president and CIO at Methodist Health System in Dallas.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Don Fluckinger, news director, or contact @DonFluckinger on Twitter.

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