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The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) seeks to support health IT to improve healthcare delivery in the US. The Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs provide financial incentives to eligible professionals and hospitals that demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which covers the HITECH Act, specified three components of Meaningful Use:

  • Use of certified EHR in a meaningful manner
  • Use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care
  • Use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality measures (CQM)

To achieve meaningful use and qualify for an incentive, you need to adopt a certified EHR technology, and use it to achieve certain objectives. MU is implemented in three stages.

credit: HealthIT.gov

Meaningful Use Stage 1: Data Capture and Sharing

As the first phase of the incentive program, Meaningful Use Stage 1 established the requirements for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Stage 1 objectives focus on the proper capturing of patient data and secure sharing of health information.

To achieve MU Stage 1, eligible professionals must meet:

  • 13 core objectives
  • 5 out of 10 menu objectives

Eligible hospitals must complete:

  • 14 core objectives
  • 5 out of 10 menu objectives
  • 15 clinical quality measures (CQM)

Our Readiness Program

To assist you with your Meaningful Use qualification, we introduced our MU Readiness program. With a dedicated team of MU experts, we helped assess client resources to support EHR implementation and achieve Stage 1 criteria. Our MU advisors developed a project schedule, provided coaching and consultation, and monitored the overall EHR implementation process.

Learn more about our program.

Meaningful Use Stage 2: Advanced Clinical Processes

Meaningful Use Stage 2 is aimed to increase health information exchange among providers and promote patient engagement. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, providers who reached Stage 2 of the incentive program will be able to demonstrate meaningful use for a larger portion of their patient populations.

The threshold that participating providers need to meet for many of the Stage 2 objectives has been raised. Although Stage 2 retains the structure for the meaningful use objectives, most of the Stage 1 menu objectives are now core objectives in the Stage 2 criteria. Most of the new objectives introduced for Stage 2 are categorized under the menu objectives criteria.

To achieve MU Stage 2, eligible professionals must meet:

  • 17 core objectives
  • 3 menu objectives that they selected from a list of 6

Eligible hospitals must meet:

  • 16 core objectives
  • 3 menu objectives that they selected from a list of 6

Meaningful Use for 2015-2017

On April 10, 2015, CMS issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to adjust the existing EHR Incentive Programs and align the Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives with the goals of MU Stage 3.

The NPRM proposes to:

  • Streamline the EHR Incentive Programs by removing redundant, duplicative and topped out measures
  • Modify patient action measures in Stage 2 objectives related to patient engagement
  • Align reporting period with full calendar year
  • Change EHR reporting period in 2015 to 90-day period to accommodate modifications

New Participation Timeline

credit: CMS.gov

The simplified program will allow the participating providers to focus on the advanced use objectives and measures. It encourages providers to use EHR to coordinate care for patients, access and exchange health information electronically, and support interoperability.

Proposed 9 Core Measures

  • Protect Electronic Health Information
  • Clinical Decision Support
  • Computerized Provider Entry (CPOE)
  • E-Prescribing
  • Summary of Care
  • Patient Education
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Patient Electronic Access
  • Secure Electronic Messaging

Proposed Public Health Measures

  • Immunization Registry Reporting
  • Syndromic Surveillance Reporting
  • Case Reporting
  • Public Health Registry Reporting
  • Clinical Data Registry Reporting

Our Approach

To help our clients satisfy the meaningful use objectives, we introduced IMS version 14 SP1. IMS version 14 SP1 is compliant with the Office of the National Coordinator’s (ONC) HIT 2014 Edition.

With its complete EHR certification, IMS has been developed to support Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We have developed features that support electronic prescribing and the secure transmission of health information electronically.

Meaningful Use Stage 3: Improved Outcomes

CMS released the Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposed Rule on March 30, 2015. According to the proposed rule, "The Stage 3 requirements focus on the advanced use of certified EHR technology (CEHRT) to promote health information exchange and improved outcomes for patients."

Meaningful Use Stage 3 is aimed to streamline the MU program and achieve sustainability in the future. Stage 3 seeks to:

  • Help simplify the meaningful use program
  • Advance the use of health IT toward improving health delivery
  • Align the program with other quality and value programs

To streamline the MU program, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing a new meaningful use timeline, reporting deadline, and structure of the program. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT also proposed a new 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria rule that aligns with the interoperability goal set in the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.

As part of the changes in the MU program, CMS presented the following eight advanced objectives:

  • Protect Patient Health Information
  • Electronic Prescribing
  • Clinical Decision Support
  • Computerized Provider Order Entry
  • Patient Electronic Access to Health Information
  • Coordination of Care through Patient Engagement
  • Health Information Exchange
  • Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting

Our Guarantee

As CMS sets the plan for Meaningful Use Stage 3, our team of MU experts is closely following the progress of the final stage of meaningful use. Our developers are working on new features and improving existing functionalities that will help you achieve the heightened requirements of MU Stage 3. We guarantee that our software will meet the requirements needed for you to attest.

We are also geared to helping you improve your healthcare delivery through the product suite that we offer and support that we provide.

Talk to your account manager to learn more about our meaningful use program.

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