May 20, 2009 – The Electronic Health Records Association (EHR Association) seeks broad stakeholder consensus by sharing its perspectives on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) as well as specific recommendations for the definition of “meaningful use” of certified EHRs, which will be used to determine eligibility for the over $36B in healthcare IT stimulus incentives for physicians and hospitals.
“I’ve been pleased to have the opportunities to speak and collaborate on behalf of the Association with healthcare executives and clinicians around the country on the ARRA term “meaningful use” of certified EHRs,” said Justin Barnes, EHR Association Chairman. “I believe that our unique, collective experience as developers, implementers and providers of EHRs is being recognized as we strive to strike the right balance between practical application of these comprehensive EHR solutions and real results that support more effective, efficient care delivery.”
Barnes has recently made presentations on ARRA and the Association’s recommendations on “meaningful use” to several organizations including HIMSS09 in April as well as Intel Corporation, several Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) chapters, Pri-Med West’s annual conference and the CIO Healthcare Summit, all in late April and early May.
Barnes and Mark Segal of GE Healthcare, who is a member of the EHR Association’s Government Relations Workgroup, also testified in April at the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Executive Subcommittee meeting on “meaningful use” recommendations. The 41 member companies of the EHR Association collaborated earlier last month in an intense effort to develop and approve the consensus recommendations on meaningful use and EHR certification for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
EHR Association executives speak with a unified voice to represent member companies and their customers, and have supported codification of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and a multi-stakeholder approach to standards and certification.
“It is truly gratifying that our Association is being called on to provide insights into the potential impacts of ARRA and to make recommendations on "meaningful use" criteria,” said Andy Ury, M.D., EHR Association Vice Chair. “An approach that builds on the solid work already done by HITSP, CCHIT and the EHR development community is important not only to enable EHR software providers to manage their development cycles , but even more importantly, to help the clinicians using EHRs whose business is patient care, not information technology,” Dr. Ury concluded.