Meaningful Use Rules For Electronic Medical Records Finally Released–All 864 Pages

The long-awaited final rules on “meaningful use” for electronic medical records were finally released today. The federal government, to push everyone towards electronic medical records, is initially paying incentives and down the road threatens penalties for those who have not converted. One problem is that it has been difficult to make decisions on the purchase of systems when the final rules for what meets the government requirements were not yet available.

The good news is that some of the initial requirements, which were difficult to meet, have been relaxed. I cannot yet be certain about all of this until I wade through all the details. Here’s the rules–all 864 pages in a pdf file. Fortunately some sources such as The New England Journal of Medicine are presenting shorter summaries.

I don’t want to sound like a tea bagger whining about everything the government does, but is it really necessary for all regulations to be so wordy as to prevent us from actually reading through them? It’s not like this is a one shot event. Last month we had the release of the federal rules for using electronic prescribing programs to transmit prescriptions for controlled substances in a similarly sized pdf file. Making matters worse, those rules are very hard to comply with. Apparently some people in the government believe that there is a greater risk of someone hacking into an electronic prescribing program than of forging a paper prescription. Personally I think that my current electronic prescribing system is more secure than paper prescriptions, even without all the added security measures being required for controlled substances.

At least these regulations are relatively short compared to those 2000 page documents I waded through while the health care reform legislation was being prepared.

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    Ron Chusid says:

    Meaningful Use Rules For Electronic Medical Records Finally Released–All 864 Pages http://bit.ly/9N4GEZ

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