MU2 / ICD-10 Crossing
The important HHS announcement of December 6, 2013 prolonging the timetable for Meaningful Use Stage 2 is still rippling through the EMR/PM Vendor Community. Obviously, the big EMR/PM Vendors have had no problem completing ICD-10 and Meaningful Use Stage 2 according to timetable, but this is not the case for the smaller EMR/PM Vendors. Logic dictates that between the two advancements the development of ICD-10 is far more important because its implementation is necessary for Doctors to get paid. Furthermore, it is clear that the Payers and the Clearinghouses will be ready for ICD-10, so the rate limiting steps here are the small EMR/PM Vendors and the Doctors themselves. Consolidation in the EMR/PM space will be the inevitable result of the crossing of these two technological advancements. My prediction, though, is that this inevitable consolidation will take far longer than anyone now expects. This is because the quality of Software of the Big Vendors is not sufficient to motivate Doctors who are now using the Software of a smaller EMR/ PM Vendor to switch. In addition, switching Vendors costs dollars. Consequent to all of this, pressure on the smaller EMR/PM Vendors to comply with ICD-10 and MU 2 is now building, both from the point of view of their present Doctor Customers and their prospects for future Doctor Customers. Since ICD 10 is more important, they will (or already have) prioritize it. However, when they come to the realization of how complex MU2 will be for them to get done, they will begin a search for help.