In a letter to Dr. Blumenthal, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) urged the ONC to define "meaningful use" in a practical and achievable way. Otherwise, many providers could fail to qualify for the HITECH Act's incentives. The MGMA is recommending, inter alia, instituting a pilot test prior to the start of the program and before each new phase of the program; including only criteria for meaningful use that have widespread industry use or have been tested; permitting physicians to test their reporting systems prior to their “go-live” date; permitting flexibility in achieving meaningful use and avoiding a “pass/fail” approach; developing a simple process for physicians to attest that they have achieved meaningful use; simplifying the data-reporting process and ensuring that the government is ready to accept the data; closely monitoring the industry to ensure that the program logistics operate appropriately; and ensuring government oversight of the vendor community for its ability to produce high-quality and reasonably priced software.
- A former Johns Hopkins hospital employee, Michelle Johnson, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution for stealing patient information. According to the Associated Press, Ms. Johnson, formerly a patient services coordinator, "provided a conspirator with names, Social Security numbers and other identifying information of more than 100 current and former patients of Johns Hopkins. That information was used to apply for credit. Johnson kept some of the fraudulently ordered merchandise for herself, including a computer monitor, a cordless phone, and clothes for herself and her children."