I plan to post them to a website kept by the White House press office. I push the send key on the order and hear chains rattling. It's Marley's ghost, leaving, and I awake to find, alas, it was all a sweet dream.
In my waking world, I have a better chance of getting Vladimir Putin on the phone than a mid-level Obama administration official, even if it's to talk about good news. Why? It's just the way they roll.
Yesterday, I wrote a story about a dramatic spike in provider participation in the CMS' Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payment programs. If the CMS data is accurate, both programs appear to be picking up full heads of steam.
And yet, I couldn't get anyone from the administration on the phone, not even to brag about their own, apparently successful, programs.
I did get an e-mail, after deadline, "attributable" to Elizabeth Holland, director of the Health IT Initiatives Group in the Office of E-Health Standards and Services at the CMS, as follows: "CMS is excited about the Nov. 30 figures, which certainly are a dramatic jump from previous months. These are part of a steady uptrend in the numbers, however, and in many ways CMS was not surprised by this recent surge in the number of providers attesting for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs."
Based on the number of providers that, according to CMS research, have been "in the middle of adopting or implementing certified EHRs, making changes to their work flow and incorporating the meaningful use of EHRs into their practices," the CMS "anticipated this kind of uptick toward the end of the year," according to the statement. "Also, as more state Medicaid EHR incentive programs have come onboard, we are seeing a definite increase in Medicaid participation as well."
The Holland statement also put in an administrative plug.
"And, finally, we know that a lot of providers are trying to get their Medicare attestations in before the end of calendar year 2011, which is why we're trying to let all Medicare eligible professionals know that they have until Feb. 29, 2012, to enter their attestation information for the 2011 payment year. Medicaid eligible professionals should check with their state to see how long they have to attest." There you have it.
And so, attributable to me and Tiny Tim, "God bless us, everyone," including the CMS.
I'm going to be taking some time off from blogging for the holidays. I'll be back Jan. 5.
Meanwhile, please consider filing out our health IT leaders' opinion survey. To participate in the survey, click here.
Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn.