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Analysis of REC Funding

Posted on June 14, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In addition to what I wrote about in my previous post, Marc Holland also does a pretty detailed analysis of the resources that RECs will have available to help resolve these physician concerns. He estimates in New York (where there are 2 RECs), they will have $4850 per physician available. The Ohio REC has $4750 per physician and the Michigan REC has $3300 per physician.

Of course, this per physician rate is a little misleading since these RECs won’t get their entire grant if they don’t perform. So, depending on how they do, it could be even less.

He also estimated based on the above numbers and the average cost for an EMR consultant that the RECs to break even would be able to provide “roughly two person-weeks in total – for contracting, for site planning, for training, for installation and first line post-implementation support.” Then, he suggested that wasn’t likely enough.

I generally agree that 2 weeks is not enough. However, it depends on the EMR consultants and more importantly, how creative the RECs become in using their EMR consultants and other resources. I’ve implemented in a clinic in two person weeks total spread out over a bit of time. So, it’s definitely possible. However, is that the best use of the resources the RECs have been given?

I personally don’t see the RECs providing this type of “free EMR consulting” services. I think the RECs are going to focus on more broad based strategies. The problem is that if you’re too broad based, then you aren’t that helpful. However, if you’re too focused then you can’t help enough people. Walking this line is going to be an interesting challenge.

Marc Holland, also suggests from the above numbers that the New York RECs alone will have to ramp up staffing to at least 100-120 analysts in the next 60-90 days. For me, that’s just funny to even think about. How many qualified EMR analysts (consultants if you will) are there in the US? And how many of those that are really qualified will want to go and work for a REC?

This is going to be really interesting to watch.

EMR Stimulus Concerns

Posted on June 7, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I just read one of the best posts I’ve read in quite a while by Marc Holland, CEO of System Research Services about HI(TECH) Anxiety. One of the best parts of the post was a list he did of the concerns physicians and their staff have about the EMR stimulus:

  • I don’t have enough Medicare revenues to qualify
  • I don’t have enough of a Medicaid patient volume to qualify
  • I’m reluctant to shop, let alone buy, until I know what criteria I must meet for my usage to be considered “meaningful”
  • The vendors I have spoken with don’t offer a version suitable to my specialty; a general purpose EMR simply doesn’t meet my needs
  • I have no personal capability or interest in becoming my own IT department and I don’t have the luxury of staff with the necessary skills
  • I haven’t begun to shop and don’t know where to start
  • The software I have seen doesn’t match my needs; usability is a key concern
  • I’m concerned about sharing my patient information with competitors and with the government, how do I preserve the confidentiality of my patient information?
  • How do I obtain and manage patient permissions?
  • I need help; lots of help

These concerns really aren’t new. Plus, none of them are really all that significant. It’s just the learning curve that’s required to implement an EMR. Sadly, I think that far too much focus has been on shoving the EMR down people’s throats instead of educating them properly on EMR and the inherent benefits of those EMR.