Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Playing Games with Federal Regulations

Most people expected the Stage 2 Meaningful Use rules to be published on Friday, February 17th but that did not happen. Now the expectation is that it will be released in conjunction with the Joint CMS-ONC Session at the HIMSS conference on Wednesday, February 22, from 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM. If this is done in a calculated way then I am very disappointed. As Histallk said in today's post:
"It looks as though the particulars about Meaningful Use Stage 2 will be released in the ONC meetings scheduled for Wednesday morning. That is damned annoying: you know they’ve been finished for some time, so holding them back just to crow about them at HIMSS is unfortunate. Why couldn’t ONC have released them last week to give people time to study the proposed rules so they could discuss them intelligently this week? ONC is going to hijack all of the topics and issues being discussed at the conference by people who have spent a lot of time and money to be here and turn it into a test of who can make an Excel worksheet the fastest. That’s a shame. It’s not like the government doesn’t already hog more than its share of the healthcare IT spotlight."
Actually we know pretty well what the Stage 2 Meaningful Use rules are going to look like. It is really the Stage 2 Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria that we don't have a truly clear picture about (and being at HIMSS, the greatest health IT vendor orgy ever that is a pretty significant bit of news). I really hope that the rules are not released Wednesday morning. It will not speak well to the integrity of the process and certainly does not allow for open and honest discussion on the proposed rules...

By the way Nate Osit made me chuckle this morning with his tweet proposing that maybe they will have copies of the rules under everyone's seats during the ONC session:

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