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Get the Facts: Meaningful Use and Certification
On July 13, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released final rules that outline first steps towards improving healthcare for all Americans through the use of electronic health records (EHR).
As part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, eligible hospitals and healthcare professionals can qualify to receive Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments by proving "meaningful use" of a certified EHR. The two final rules announced last July outline specific guidelines that must be met in order for healthcare professionals to receive government incentive dollars and for an EHR to become a certified technology.
What is Meaningful Use?
One of the two rules*, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), defines the minimum criteria an eligible healthcare provider must achieve through meaningful use of a certified EHR to qualify to receive government incentive money. By successfully implementing and meaningfully using a certified EHR, healthcare providers will be in a better position to enhance patient safety, reduce medication errors and the risk of adverse drug events, and improve efficiency in the workplace. And in return, the government is offering incentives of up to $44,000 for each eligible provider who makes use of such a system.
Due to the money at stake, more and more hospitals and healthcare providers will be making the switch and implementing EHR systems in the coming months. Get your EHR market-ready by reading more about the specific meaningful use requirements healthcare providers must meet to qualify for incentive payments.
What is a Certified EHR Technology?
The other rule*, issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), outlines the required capabilities an EHR must have to become certified. A hospital or healthcare provider that implements a certified EHR can be assured that the system it adopts will enable users to perform the functions required to achieve meaningful use and qualify for incentive payments. In addition, a certified EHR will enable clinicians to enhance medication safety, reduce errors and improve patient care.
Is your EHR market-ready? Read more about the specific criteria your EHR must meet to become certified and enable providers to receive meaningful use incentive payments.
How can we help?
Need help achieving meaningful use and certification? See how Lexicomp can help your EHR meet Stage 1 criteria.
* Both rules are currently in Stage 1. CMS and ONC plan to increase requirements for both meaningful use and certification in future stages, which will take effect over the next several years.