I know it is hard to believe, but today marks the second anniversary for the Acumen blog. The blog was launched September 17, 2010, with our first post. Time does indeed fly when you are having fun. Over the past two years we have published over 200 posts on a wide variety of health IT related topics. Those posts have generated 80 comments from a number of blog followers. Today the Acumen blog has over 200 active subscribers.
What is generating the interest? I think there are several things that bring people to the blog, not the least of which is the breadth and depth of understanding we bring to the intersection of nephrology and health IT. Near the top of that list is the impact the CMS incentive programs bring to the practice of nephrology. During the past two years we have seen the e-prescribing program move from a handsome financial bonus to an unpleasant penalty. We have witnessed the explosion in reporting quality measures to CMS via PQRS registry reporting. And last, but certainly not least, there is meaningful use.
When the Acumen blog started in 2010, the original meaningful use final rule for Stage 1 was a couple of months old. I recall having conversations with physicians who believed the program was smoke and mirrors; the incentives will never be paid, some said. What a difference two years can make. As of the end of July, CMS has paid over $6.5 billion to hospitals and eligible professionals for successful participation in the CMS EHR incentive program. Included among those collecting the incentive are almost 1,400 nephrologists. The program is clearly here to stay and the recent publication of the Stage 2 final rule promises to keep us busy in the years to come.
The Acumen blog has become far more successful than I would have imagined two years ago and our success is the result of the work of many people. Amy Bordoni and Megan Wiley continue their tireless devotion to this blog and without them the wheels would come off very quickly. Our guest bloggers make outstanding contributions to the content of our blog and their number will soon reach double figures. Posts with broader appeal stimulate comments which always enrich the topic under discussion. Led by Dr. Randy Gertner, the people that take the time to post a comment bring immense value to our blog.
What will the next two years bring? Impossible to know, but we plan to continue to be here as a source of objective information for nephrologists and their practices. Thanks to everyone for making it possible.