Meaningful Use and the Hitech Act

Meaningful Use has really thrown a wrench into some existing electronic medical records software.

There are companies out there who have worked with medical records for many years and have really streamlined the "functionality" of their programs to match the flow of the physician office and its needs.

However, these programs were not designed around "quality measures."

The proof of this is that many of the older systems have passed on less than 10 of the 44 Meaningful Use Clinical Quality Measures (C2M).

There are newer electronic medical record systems with simpler functionality, but meet the Meaningful Use Criteria in a much more user friendly capacity.

Essentially, right now you might sacrifice functionality to meet Meaningful Use.

As a new buyer, Meaninful Use has certainly added a new dimension to the buying decision.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

  • Incentives for adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology
  • Medicare and Medicaid incentives available to eligible providers and to hospitals
  • CBO estimates of potential incentive payments: ~$34B
  • For a provider or hospital to qualify for incentives, each of the following requirements must be met:
    • Meaningful use of certified EHR technology during the incentive period
    • EHR technology is connected for electronic exchange of health information
    • Reporting on quality measures using EHR

      3 Steps to ARRA Incentive Payments

      • Step 1: Adopt certified EHR technology

      • Step 2: Achieve meaningful use

      • Step 3: Apply for incentive payment

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