Today, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new site that is basically an everything you wanted to know about meaningful use, ARRA, the HITECH Act, certified EHRs, etc., but were afraid to ask. This is a reasonable attempt by CMS to get as much information online, in one location, that addresses most of the nuances of the HITECH Act and its incentive programs for physician and hospital adoption of EHRs. Unfortunately, like most government websites, or at least those that seem to emanate from HHS, it is a drab site that presents information in a way that your mid-90’s era web designer would be proud of. (Note: inside sources state the problem rests with a chief web design honcho at HHS who is stuck on that old model much to the displeasure of others – oh well, that’s government.)
Needless to say, the site does provide a wealth of information, though you may have to dig to find what is most important to you. The site may also become prone to being dated, so be careful and double check other sources for more current info. For example, the section on certification of EHRs stated that certification rules will be released in “late spring/early summer” – well they are already out, having been released on June 18th. Hopefully, HHS, CMS and ONC can work more closely going forward to insure that information on this new, and what may become an important site, is truly current.
In launching this site, CMS is trying to get ahead of the curve and likely onslaught of requests for information once the final meaningful use rules are released. While this website states that these rules will be released, again, “in late spring/early summer,” we are now placing our bets that these rules will be released at 4:55pm on July 3rd, unless of course someone in the administration decides to postpone such an announcement until the opportune moment comes along to generate some positive press for what is currently an embattled administration.