In response to Joseph Conn's "Some IT experts yawn at federal EHR initiative":
While I have great respect for my colleagues Peter Waegemann and William Bria, I strongly disagree with their unimpressed reactions to the CMS' announcement of a new 1,200 physician pay-for-IT/pay-for-performance pilot. Medicare and Medicaid together purchase one-third of all healthcare in the U.S., making the CMS the undisputed $700 billion gorilla of the industry. Even a "tiny step" (in Waegmann's words) by this massive entity is earthshaking, especially when it's in a brand new directionlinking healthcare reimbursement to the adoption and successful use of health IT.
I can't even imagine the number of political challenges and vested interests that had to be overcome to introduce this new program from the CMS. I hope my fellow health IT insiders will join me in welcoming such enlightened and innovative programs from the purchasers of healthcare, rather than deriding their first steps, however small, in the right direction.
Mark Leavitt, M.D.ChairmanCertification Commission for Healthcare Information TechnologyNorth Plains, Ore. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.