The AHA shares my concerns. "there are many activities that need to happen before we will have certified products that can be purchased and installed by providers, hospitals, and physicians," says Chantal Worzala, AHA director of policy.
Each year, providers must confirm that their software is still in compliance with current Meaningful Use guidelines, and that's adding to the squeeze on providers to implement and vendors to facilitate those implementations.
In its comments to ONC this spring, AHA tried to allow any provider currently certifying at the 2011 Meaningful Use guidelines to stay on that release of software until it moved to the Stage 2 set of Meaningful Use functions.
But ONC refused to introduce this level of complexity into the regulations. While I can't blame ONC for trying to keep a complex set of regulations a little bit simpler, the result is that all providers have to get updated software from their vendors at once, whether they're in attesting at 2014-level Stage 1 or Stage 2.
"The notion that they're putting everybody into that upgrade cycle in the same year absolutely is problematic," Worzala says.