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Submitted by admin on Wed, 08/14/2013 - 4:27pm
By October 1, 2013, physicians and medical practices must begin their implementation of a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) system in order to receive an incentive payment by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In order for eligible medical practices and hospitals to receive the full incentive payment of $39,000, eligible medical practices and hospitals need to successfully demonstrate Meaningful Use of a certified EHR by achieving list of specific objectives. The Meaningful Use objectives have been focused into three stages of implementation.
Stage 1 (2011-2012): Data capture and sharing
Stage 2 (2014): Advance clinical processes
Stage 3 (2016): Improve outcomes
Many hospitals and practices have prepared and met requirements for the Stage 1 Meaningful Use deadline of October 1, 2013. However, beginning in 2014, medical providers must begin to prepare for Stage 2 Meaningful Use, which focuses on care coordination to improve the overall quality of patient care. Some important features include:
More rigorous health information exchange
Increased requirements for e-prescribing and incorporating lab results
Electronic transmission of patient care summaries across multiple settings
More patient-controlled data
Achieving meaningful use across the three stages requires meeting all mandatory core objectives, outlined by the CMS. Medical practices and hospitals must also report on CMS clinical quality measures in order to successfully confirm Meaningful Use and receive an incentive payment. Currently, medical practices can still qualify to receive the full $39,000 incentive payment. However, physicians starting after October 1, 2013 can only receive up to $24,000 in incentive money.
Your Medical Practice can achieve meaningful use easily and at a low cost, by adopting a free cloud based EHR such as Practice Fusion
To assist practices in Meaningful Use, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information technology (ONC) has funded Regional Extension Centers (RECs) throughout the United States, to help primary care providers adopt and use EHRs. REC services include outreach and education, EHR support and technical assistance in implementing health information technology to improve patient care.