Defining EHR "Meaningful Use" Begins
The Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee met June 16 to begin the process of defining “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs).
According to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) news release: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act) provides Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments to eligible providers, such as physicians and hospitals, to increase the adoption of EHRs. To receive the incentive payments, providers must demonstrate “meaningful use” of a certified EHR.
In a fact sheet, issued June 19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said they intend to publish a proposed rule in late 2009 to define “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology and establish criteria for the incentives programs.
CMS has developed the following timeline based on the current implementation plan:
|No sooner than October 2010||Start to pay hospital incentives for Medicare and monitor payments|
|No sooner than January 2011||
|2011 – 2016||Continue paying hospital incentives for Medicare and monitor payments|
|2011 – 2016||Continue paying eligible professionals incentives for Medicare and monitor payments|
|2011 – 2021||Continue paying Medicaid incentives to eligible professionals and hospitals and monitor payments|
|2015 and thereafter||Initiate payment reductions to Medicare hospitals and eligible professionals that fail to adopt EHRs|