Another electronic health-record system developer has joined the growing ranks of those offering a guarantee that providers using their EHRs will meet the so-called “meaningful use” critieria under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
San Francisco-based EHR developer Practice Fusion said its program provides “a guarantee that physicians using Practice Fusion's EHR will qualify for meaningful use before the economic stimulus payments begin in January 2011” and that amounts to “effectively guaranteeing payout of stimulus package money.”
The stimulus law requires that to be eligible for an estimated $34 billion in EHR subsidy payments administered through the Medicare and Medicaid programs, providers must use “certified” EHRs in a “meaningful manner.” HHS has yet to determine rules laying out the EHR certification process, nor has it defined meaningful use, nor explained what proof of compliance it will require of providers before federal payments are released.
According to its news release, the company is monitoring the activities of the various government groups working on the development of meaningful-use criteria. Once the rules are set, Practice Fusion will be able to quickly upgrade its system and use its “software-as-a-service” distribution platform to quickly upgrade physicians' systems to the new requirements. Neither the news release nor an explanation of the guarantee on the company's Web site provided details on how the company would compensate physicians or otherwise make good on its guarantee if physicians using its software failed to meet meaningful use requirements. Company officials could not be reached for comment at deadline.