Politics, Healthcare, and Friendship The Road Ahead

Jim TateBy Jim Tate, EMR Advocate
Meaningful Use Audit Expert
Twitter: @JimTate, eMail: Inquiry@meaningfuluseaudits.com

I’ve been holding off writing this post for a few months. Usually I am writing about dry topics like regulatory compliance and governmental policy. But something else has been on my mind lately and I needed to let the dust settle and the passions in my blood subside before picking up my pen.

We have a new administration in Washington these days. They control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. What does this mean in terms of healthcare? So many issues that were once considered finalized are suddenly back on the balance board. The proposed changes to Medicare, the much-promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and the funding of Planned Parenthood are all part of the mix. And let’s not forget the Supreme Court, which will undoubtedly be facing reviews of anything remotely concerned with abortion. What’s a poor boy to think? Where are we headed?

Your faithful correspondent is confused by all the chaff and static but there is one thing I know, we are in a time of change, Big Change. What was up is now down. Those who once had wings are now walking. Those who were in one line are finding themselves in another. I do not know if we are in a process of metamorphosis or transformation or even something else. I usually try to avoid the extremes of black and white thinking though I’m often not successful. I do know that demonizing those on the “other side” is a trap best avoided.

We should always stand for our beliefs, and I’m not advocating anything else, but I’m thinking it might be time for a little gentleness. The 1960s was a turbulent and divisive time in the US, but come to think of it, in the middle of all that turmoil we had the Summer of Love in 1967. 50 years ago this summer. Go figure. So, if you see me on the street, I’m hoping our outstretched hands will not become fists. Politics is a very strange beast but it is better than the alternative, war. I’ve made the mistake in the past of allowing political differences to damage personal relationships. Politics comes and goes but a lost friend is a friend lost forever. Maybe those barbers and bartenders who avoid talking too much about politics know something valuable. Time will tell how this will all wash out, I’m just hoping in 10 years when we look back at our behavior we will be proud. Not matter what side you’re on, keep smiling.

Jim Tate is known as the most experienced authority on the CMS Meaningful Use (MU) audit and appeal process. His unique combination of skills has brought successful outcomes to hospitals at risk of having their CMS EHR incentives recouped. He led the first appeal challenge in the nation for a client hospital that had received a negative audit determination. That appeal was decided in favor of the hospital. He has also been successful in leading the effort to reverse a failed appeal, even after the hospital had received notification of the failure with the statement, “This decision is final and not subject to further appeal”. That “final” decision was reversed in less than a week. If you are a hospital with questions or concerns about the meaningful use audit process, contact him at: Inquiry@meaningfuluseaudits.com.