Why Geeks Should Care About Meaningful Use and ACOs

Fred Trotter | O'Reilly Radar | October 21, 2011

Healthcare reform pairs two basic concepts: Change incentives: lower costs by paying less for "better" care not "more" care; Use software to measure whether you are getting "better" care.

These issues are deeply connected and mostly worthless independently. This is why all geeks should really care about meaningful use, which is the new regulatory framework from the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (or ONC for short) that determines just how doctors will get paid for using electronic health records (EHR).

The clinical people in this country tend to focus on meaningful use incentives as "how do I get paid to install an EHR" rather than seeing it as deeply connected to the whole process of healthcare reform. But any geek can quickly see the bottom line: all of the other healthcare reform efforts are pointless unless we can get the measurement issue right...