60% of Massachusetts Doctors Will Not Meet State Electronic Record Mandate

Putting aside a lengthy discussion over the merits of and cost saving potential of EMRs for a minute, comes this gem from the land of not so well thought out policy making…

In 2010, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law requiring that, as a condition of licensure starting in 2015, Massachusetts physicians must demonstrate proficiency in the use of electronic health records, computerized order entry, e-prescribing, and other forms of health information technology.

Last year [ in chapter 224], the Legislature amended that statute to state that physicians must “demonstrate the skills to comply with the ‘meaningful use’ requirements.” There was no further language to explain the intent or scope of that amendment.

Given that even the most optimistic forecast holds that only 12,000 eligible providers in Massachusetts would achieve Meaningful Use certification by 2015 (more than 30,000 physicians hold a Massachusetts license), the MMS is committed to ensuring that the statute is interpreted broadly, and does not unintentionally disenfranchise thousands of physicians, thereby creating an extreme health care access issue.

-Massachusetts Medical Society

So 60% of doctors are projected to be non-compliant?!? I guess a doctor shortage will take on a whole new meaning in the state.

This is what happens when you pass major policy bills in  14 hours without anyone reading the whole thing first, but I digress…

This issue prompted a recent call to action from a local doctor in North Chelmsford, Dr. Hayward Zwerling.

Josh Archambault is director of health care policy at the Pioneer Institute in Boston (www.pioneerinstitute.org), publisher of “The Great Experiment: The States, The Feds and Your Health Care.”

3 replies »

  1. And all along, I thought that the great experiment was HITECH program in which medical devices that run the care of all patients were being sold without approval by the FDA as required by the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.

    All of the doctors, nurses, and patients have become the unconsented guinea pigs for the HIT vendors and its consultants, not to mention the US Government. Oops, they are snooping this blog.

  2. You mean that the State of Massachusetts passed health care legislation without understanding its effects?

    Glad nobody else has done that 😉