Meeting Meaningful UseMarch 7th, 2013
As you probably know by now, Medicare & Medicaid EHR Stimulus programs provide incentive payments to physicians if they can qualify for the Meaningful Use of a certified EHR technology. Over 350,000 eligible physicians have registered with Medicare and Medicare for stimulus payments and over 3.7 billion dollars have been paid out since 2011. In 2013, physicians can still get up to $39,000, payable over four years. But if they decide to wait another year, the payment drops down to $24,000 in 2014 payable over three years. Starting in 2015, there are no more payments. Practices that have chosen to remain on a paper system have and will continue to be penalized in their Medicare and Medicaid payment checks.
There is another side to the Stimulus program. Many providers who purchased EHR software are not qualifying for Meaningful Use. As per the latest CDC study only 27%. The reason lies in the fact that although certified, most EHR’s won’t attest for the basic requirements of Phase 1 or Phase 2, which is more difficult.
To qualify for Stage 1 of Meaningful Use, eligible physicians must meet all 15 of the Stage 1 core objectives and 5 of 10 menu set objectives using certified EHR software. The reporting period for the first year is any 90 continuous days during the calendar year. In order to meet Meaningful Use, EHR software must provide the specific fields needed to capture data and measure outcomes. If any required data is missing because it can’t be or was not captured, Stimulus funds will not be paid.
The selection of an EHR is one of the most important decisions a practice will make. The goal is to not only choose the correct software but the company behind it. Free and inexpensive solutions are usually too good to be true. The right company will provide the training, implementation, support, and help to pass attestation.
Many physicians now find themselves working with EHR software that is certified but has not been able to qualify for Meaningful Use! If you’re one of these physicians, it is not too late! There is still time to change to an EHR that will meet your needs and qualify you for at least $39,000 of Meaningful Use.
If you are in the search for the right EHR, this is your first and final chance to get it right. Consider if the software vendor has references that have already met Stage 1 of Meaningful Use. Here at Benchmark, we guarantee our EHR will qualify or we will pay the Stimulus dollars! If you go with Benchmark, you get paid either way.