ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) has $17,000,000,000 allocated to physicians to encourage the adoption of EMR technologies.  In order to be eligible for $44,000 in reimbursements, individual physician’s must do three things:

1. Adopt Certified EHR technology

2. Reach Meaningful Use Objectives

3.  Apply for Incentive Payment

The carrot of stimulus incentives along with the stick of decreased reimbursement for non-compliance in 2015 is helping to ramp up EMR adoption from physicians, resulting in the 3X increase in annual adoption over the next six years.

Labs will need to be prepared for the demands of referring physicians to comply with Meaningful Use objectives.  The Meaningful Use criteria has two objectives that relate to the laboratory:

•CPOE -Computer Physician Order Entry

•Lab Test Results

The importance to labs is that as referring physicians adopt EMR, they must have a strategy moving forward to provide results and order entry capability.

Factors including increased adoption of EMR, recently passed Healthcare Reform, and the “Baby Boomer” generation reaching retirement are going to dramatically impact providers. Some of that impact remains to be seen, but what is certain is that demand for laboratory tests is increasing and reimbursement is decreasing.  Labs must increase efficiency and partner with referring physicians in delivery of tests results and/or placement of orders.

Setting sail in these turbulent waters requires a plan and strategic partnerships in order to deliver on these increasing demands.  How does your lab plan to navigate?