Health IT, Policy

Let’s hope your Thanksgiving isn’t like this

You really have to feel for those whose points of contention at the Thanksgiving dinner table include health IT.

For overseas readers, this Thursday is Thanksgiving in the U.S. That means family and friends will gather from far and wide to eat far too much, watch a lot of football and perhaps argue politics before passing out in a tryptophan-induced stupor. But you really have to feel for those whose points of contention include health IT.

Over at, Jennifer Bresnick imagines a nightmare scenario: Thanksgiving with a table full of healthcare professionals who want to bicker over the future of Meaningful Use, health IT interoperability and accountable care.

I’d say it’s better than fighting about the Affordable Care Act, but — surprise — accountable care actually is part of the ACA. (Hey, maybe that’s a good point of discussion, that the ACA is about a lot more than just insurance exchanges. In a pleasant surprise, a mainstream publication, the Wall Street Journal on Monday noted this in an interview with Leslie Dach, a senior counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.)

But to answer Bresnick’s questions: Yes, Meaningful Use Stage 3 seems destined to fail, given all the pushback, though the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) promises to supersede it; The health IT vendor community can’t deliver on its promises because vendors really haven’t been forced to yet, either by customers or regulators; and value-based reimbursement had better be worth it because fee-for-service has gotten U.S. healthcare into the current mess.

Hopefully, your Thanksgiving will be peaceful and festive. But if all else fails, maybe it’s Adele time.

Photo: user hyena reality