Core Objective Change Vital to EHR Incentive

If you are participating in either the Medicare or Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, please be aware that the requirements for the Stage 1 Vital Signs core objective (measure 8) has changed to mirror the requirements for the objective in Stage 2.
Whether your practice is participating in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of EHR Meaningful Use, clinicians should record blood pressure of patients age 3 and over, and record patient height and weight, for all ages.
For Stage 1, you must record this data for a minimum of 50 percent of unique patients; where as in Stage 2, you must record this data for at least 80 percent of unique patients. (Unique patients are those the practice hasn’t seen in the same reporting period.)
Note that certified EHR technology will automatically calculate the other two requirements of this objective: body mass index and (for patients 0-20 years) growth. This information does not need to be manually recorded.
Exclusions from part or all of this objective apply for any eligible professional who meets the following criteria:

  1. If you do not see patients 3 years or older, you are excluded from recording blood pressure.
  2. If you believe all three vital signs of height, weight, and blood pressure have no relevance to your scope of practice, you are not required to record them; or
  3. If you believe that height and weight are relevant, but blood pressure is not, you are not required to record blood pressure; or
  4. If you believe blood pressure isn’t relevant, but height and weight are, you may be excluded from recording blood pressure.

Naturally, you will need to attest to any of these exclusions.

Renee Dustman
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Renee Dustman, BS, AAPC MACRA Proficient, is managing editor - content & editorial at AAPC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Communications - Journalism. Renee has more than 30 years' experience in journalistic reporting, print production, graphic design, and content management. Follow her on Twitter @dustman_aapc.

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