February 17, 2011


More "Meaningful Use" Money On The Way? Latest Budgets Give Big Clues

Doctors and detectives have something in common- they use clues to solve cases.
And yet, although there are many clues supporting the continued funding of “Meaningful Use” – many doctors are still not convinced that they can reliably count on the government to pay their bonuses.
So, here is another indicator:
President Obama’s budget increases fiscal year 2012 funding for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) – a 37% jump from 2010 funding. (The ONC oversees health care IT initiatives including the Meaningful Use incentives program.) Clearly he is unperturbed by Republican threats to defund the Affordable Health Care Act.
PLUS- the ONC is also slated to receive an astonishing leap in stimulus funding from the HITECH Act; $498.6 million in 2011 and $874.3 million in 2012.
Of course, Republicans are still making noise about scrapping the entire health care reform legislation, and while that does muddy up the waters- here is the reality:

  • The Senate likely won’t pass any House legislation that calls for defunding health care reform. And even if it does, Obama’s veto pen is sure to come out.
  • Electronic medical records have long been a bipartisan goal. We expect this to resume after the political posturing runs its course (on this issue, anyway).

These could be some of the same reasons why states like Mississippi are moving full steam ahead to prepare for an expected slew of submitted physician claims for Meaningful Use incentives. If you’re not moving forward, you are putting yourself at risk for not having funding available when the gauntlet drops! Stay tuned for a more detailed post on that next week.

About ifroehlich

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.