The “Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health” Act (HITECH Act) outlined the intended plans for the adoption of electronic health records through meaningful use (MU). CMS Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs have evolved into three stages of meaningful use with their own goal, priorities and their own final rule. Meaningful use means “providers need to show they’re using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity.”
Meaningful use sets specific aim that eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals must achieve to qualify for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Incentive Programs.
Stages of Meaningful Use
Stage 1 of the CMS EHR Incentive Program began in 2011, it sets the fundamental functionalities for Electronic Health Record (EHR). The requirements are focused on providers capturing patient data and sharing that data either with the patient or with other healthcare professionals. Eligible hospitals, Eligible professionals, and critical access hospitals will successfully attest to two stage 1 reporting periods before moving to stage 2.
Stage 2 of the CMS EHR Incentive Program begins in 2014. Uses advanced clinical processes, in which requirements are focused on health information exchange between providers and promotes patient engagement by giving patients secure online access to their health information.
Stage 3 of the CMS EHR Incentive Program is scheduled to begin in 2016 but the rule has not yet been finalized. Policy and Standards committees are developing recommendations to continue to expand meaningful use objectives to improve health care outcomes.
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