Major Insurance Companies and Meaningful Use

Posted on September 9, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

We all know that the largest “insurance company” in the US (Medicare and Medicaid) is on board the meaningful use bandwagon. One of the major questions in the healthcare industry is whether insurance companies are going to hop on the meaningful use train as well.

I came across this post on Fierce Health Payer from August of 2010 (that’s a year ago for those keeping track) that talks about four major insurers aligning their pay-for-performance programs with meaningful use. The four payers mentioned are Aetna (NYSE: AET), Highmark, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and WellPoint (NYSE: WLP).

The interesting thing for me is that a year later, I still haven’t seen any real solid movement or announcements from the insurance companies about meaningful use. I may have missed it, so let me know if you’ve seen something, but I imagine one of my readers or someone on Twitter would have pointed out any major meaningful use announcement by private insurance companies.

I suspect that the major insurance companies are sitting back and watching the government’s meaningful use program first. I imagine they’ll be looking at which pieces of meaningful use are actually (excuse the term) meaningful and then use those as a basis for any initiatives that they launch. I’ll be really surprised if any insurer steps out and uses the meaningful use guidelines. They may use some elements, but I’ll be pretty shocked if they support all of meaningful use.

What do you think? How will insurance companies move forward when it comes to EHR and meaningful use?