Nextgov.com is part of the National Journal Group Inc. and the Atlantic Media Company. It is a spin off of Government Executive.com and provides coverage and commentary on the management of information technology in the federal government.
Read the whole article. I reproduce a part of it below for the purposes of sponsoring the first ever Healthcare Renewal contest.
The rules are simple. Add to the blog comments section your best explanation of the interesting phrase in the last sentence of the excerpt, bolded below. The best comment will get an honorable mention appended to the text of this posting.
Keep in mind that the laws regarding health IT appeared in H.R. 1 EH, a.k.a. the Economic Recovery Act of 2009, with little or no public discussion regarding incentives, penalties or timing. See Div. B Title IV, Health Information Technology (Word file extract of a version of the bill from a few months ago) to review the Act's text on HIT.
With that in mind, here is the excerpt:
... Health IT provisions in the economic stimulus package are integral to Obama's overall health care agenda, and give doctors and hospitals incentives to adopt certified electronic records by 2014. The Recovery Act appropriates about $20 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentives to meet that goal.
Professionals who deploy certified electronic health records between 2011 and 2014 will be eligible for Medicare bonus payments, while hospitals that implement certified e-records by 2015 also will get bonuses.
Scot M. Silverstein, a medical informatics consultant, adjunct professor at Drexel University and former director of Drexel's Institute for Healthcare Informatics, said the timeline for adoption should be extended. Starting in 2015, the administration plans to dock Medicare payments for professionals and hospitals that fail to use certified e-records.
"I think the punitive aspects that kick in need to be eliminated," Silverstein said. "I think the government needs to re-examine its justifications for shoving IT down doctors' throats by 2014."
David Blumenthal, Obama's national coordinator for health information technology, said the government will tighten oversight of the certification process to address such concerns.
"Right now, we are reviewing that process to see how it can provide stronger guarantees that [products] will perform as they are promised to perform," he said. But the timelines for rollout of health IT are cemented in law, he noted.
"Cemented in law?" Your comments, please.