Meaningful Use Demise Opens Door to Truly Meaningful Health Tech Advances

By Peggy Salvatore MBA

This is the third in a series of blogs for ePharma Summit 2016 to explore ways the pharmaceutical industry can maximize the promise of digital health.

Ding. Dong. MU is dead.

The pivot by CMS gives the pharmaceutical industry unprecedented opportunity to leverage digital health in the service of CMS’ goals to promote the appropriate use of technology in a way that really works.

Now is the time for the industry to step forward and use its considerable marketing and sales ingenuity – and budget –  to make its products and knowledge available for the patients who need it in a way that is intuitive to the providers who care for them.

One week after CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt nailed the Meaningful Use coffin shut  at the JPM16 conference in San Francisco, he co-wrote a column with Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare Information Technology chief Karen DeSalvo that detailed guiding principles that will direct the transition from MU to a new approach encouraging the use of electronic health records.

According to an article in HealthData Management , CMS and ONCHIT will use four “critical principles” to guide new regulations planned for release this spring.

They are:

  1. Rewarding providers for outcomes that technology helps them achieve
  2. Allowing providers the flexibility to customize health IT to their practice needs
  3. Leveling the technology playing field by promoting innovation and unlocking electronic health information through the use of APIs.
  4. Prioritizing interoperability by implementing federally recognized national interoperability standards.

This is a long-overdue revamping of MU, the well-intentioned but poorly structured and incentivized government effort to force physicians and healthcare organizations to implement electronic patient records.

Consider the new regulations an opportunity to let innovation, user experience and patient best interest come to the forefront without cumbersome and unhelpful rules that hinder progress in this area.

How can pharmaceutical manufacturers direct their digital efforts toward advancing this cause?


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