It's hardly news that the pool of qualified healthcare information technology professionals is drying up as providers and vendors race to meet tech deadlines associated with federal HIT funding programs. For HIT folk like us, this rocks! Except, of course, when we're trying to flesh out project staff and we learn that the talent is beginning to know what it's worth.
At stake is the $25 billion allocated in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for EHR and other health IT outlays. Providers can be compensated for costs if they jump through the hoops by certain dates, with several important deadlines coming through the next several months. July 3 is the last day for hospitals to begin the 90-day reporting period in which they must demonstrate Meaningful Use for the Medicare EHR incentive program for federal FY 2011.
Oct. 3, 2011 is the last day for physicians to begin their Meaningful Use reporting period for EHR, and November 30 the curtain drops on general and critical access hospitals registering for payments. And that's just a handful of the headaches.
In addition to all of this activity, ICD-10 and 5010 implementations are also looming. If you're in HIT and you haven't asked for a raise, as my daddy used to say, "What's wrong, cat got your tongue?" (Apologies to our CIO friends.)