A news story about the hearings is here. A previous blog posting about them is here.
Further, according to its gap analysis, Intermountain could fully meet just 25 of the 46 meaningful-use requirements, Bowes said.
To upgrade its homegrown inpatient and ambulatory EHR systems, Intermountain must enhance 17 modules and build four new modules or functions, according to Bowes. He said that half to 100% of his time over the past 18 months has been "consumed with studying, interpreting, and estimating impact of the rules and regulations for EHR certification and attainment of meaningful use for our enterprise."
Intermountain will need to spend $8 million to $10 million on systems development to plug those gaps, Bowes said. Because its systems are homegrown, they can be tested and certified on site, but "the final details for site-certification were only released (by the federal government) in the last months of 2010, and we are still waiting for direction on site-certification for ambulatory users," according to Bowes.
Bowes said he doubts Intermountain and other "eligible providers" will meet meaningful-use targets in time to receive Stage 1 funding.
In contrast, Dr. Harm Scherpbier, chief medical information officer for Main Line Health, a network of five hospitals and other healthcare centers in suburban Philadelphia that's part of the Jefferson Health System, was bullish, almost to the point of cheerleading.
Scherpbier said all five Main Line Health hospitals, which use Siemens and Cerner EHR systems, should qualify for meaningful-use payments this year.
"Your program is clearly driving demand and interest," Scherpbier told his work-group listeners. "I find your team has set the bar at the right level. I believe you should follow the same philosophy for stage 2, keep the bar high and challenging."
But even Scherpbier pleaded that "we do need some more time between Stages 1 and 2."
All told, though, among the more than 30 witnesses testifying at the hearings, which ran all day Tuesday and a half day Monday, Scherpbier was far more optimistic than most.
Providers who are feeling anxious or even miserable about their prospects for meeting meaningful use targets can find plenty of company listening here.