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All Things HIT

Aug 31 2012   3:26PM GMT

CMS, a hero for influencing health IT adoption!



Posted by: AllinHIT
CMS, E-prescribing, Medicare

Recently I had a discussion on EHRs with a group of strangers at a party.  It was the old “what do you do?” question that started the conversation among this group that was unfamiliar to the industry.  It was discussed that a common link among us was that we all are patients. Then, I was asked, why these type of systems are just being implemented in health care. It was then I thought about my health IT career and how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) influenced health IT, starting back to the mandate for online, real-time adjudication of Medicare claims. I must say, CMS has had such an effect on health IT, and this was just the beginning!

I thought about how CMS affected the adoption of e-prescribing.  If you remember, roughly four years ago, the CMS e-prescribing incentives started.  Providers were given a two percent revenue uplift on their monthly Medicare billings, if they sent a large percentage of Medicare scripts electronically. When this program started, I was a technology consultant for Quest Diagnostics given the task of educating their physician clients on the incentive, and surprise, surprise….I was responsible for leading their sales team in signing up providers for Quest’s e-prescribing solution.  Without a doubt, the benefits of e-prescribing more than justifies the cost of implementing and causing a disruption of workflow. However, it took this incentive for significant adoption to occur.  This again, is just another way CMS was able to influence health IT.

Lastly, the latest numbers show a significant increase in EHR adoption.  Of course, CMS incentives again are the reason! I could go on and write about CMS influences on the adoption of HIEs, ACOs, and Beacon Communities. That is why, I must crown CMS for being an adoption hero for health IT.  Thanks CMS, your influence, although not perfect, has reached hero status just the same!

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