March 2015
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19 Mar 2015 

Understand More About Meaningful Use Stage 1

Meaningful Use is a very important component of a financial incentive plan that is put forth by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This act is often called as the Recovery Act or the Stimulus Act and is an economic stimulus package that is designed to improve economy in a recession. This is mostly done by promoting investments and by increasing the consumer spending. The bill set aside 25.8 billion dollars for the health information technology investments, a part of which were to be used as incentive payments for the medical facilities that are implementing some of the types of medical information technology, for instance EMR. However, getting these incentives depend on whether the EMR system that is implemented meets the requirements and conditions.

The concept upon which the funding is based is that mass implementation of Electronic Medical Record systems will improve healthcare facilities and communication systems in the US. With the computerized system, doctors will be more prepared to communicate the health records and patient data between their offices. This will improve the efficiency within the hospital or office.

Storing all the patient data in a single location with the ability to access it from any location is the best part of EMR. However, it is much important to verify that the EMR system selected to be used in the office and the way in which your staff use it are beneficial.

The term Meaningful Use refers to using Electronic Medical Records system in a meaningful way and includes the requirements to be met for medical facilities applying for government incentives. Healthcare units will have to use certified EMR systems, which should be implemented to facilitate the exchange of healthcare information. The underlying need is that the healthcare providers should be able to demonstrate with quantitative and qualitative measures that the EMR system is contributing to an improved system of healthcare.

This program is divided into 3 stages, each of them defining the different standards of Meaningful Use. Stage 1 of this program started in 2011. The applicants should be fulfilling twenty out of twenty-five objectives to qualify for these incentives. Many of the online EMR support and research firms offer EMR selection and implementation advice to help physicians choose EMR system that will suit their practice. While the path to Meaningful Use is different in varying practices, the outcome hopes to be useful for medical offices, patients and healthcare in US as a whole.

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05 Mar 2015 

Medical Health Organizations May Get Meaningful Use Break

Meaningful Use BreakThe latest news in the field of healthcare is that CMS has extended the compliance date of Meaningful Use Stage 2 Attestation. The new bill that was considered by Congress recently, would be offering those medical health care providers that fell behind on MU, a chance to be eligible for incentive payments. This news obviously gives hopes to the small and medium healthcare service providers. This extension will help many of the clinics and doctors’ offices to make them eligible for the Medicare reimbursement.

Previously, those hospitals who attested to Meaningful Use Stage 1 will need to attest to MU stage 2 before the beginning of the 2015 MU year. This date was extended by CMS to Dec 31, 2014, but the deadline for Medicare eligible professionals will be February 28, 2015. This relaxation in date will be very much helpful to those small and medium healthcare providers who are struggling much to get attested.

As per the opinion of experts in the field, more than fifty percent of the medical health institutions will be enjoying the relief and the chances of these hospitals attesting to the new MU standards will increase. However, reports also highlight that some of these hospitals fear giving up their incentive payments. Even though the Medicare reimbursement reduction is just a meager amount, it can be very much painful for hospitals that are operating in small margins.

CMS has also delayed the deadline for EHs and CAHs that are providing clinical quality measures to meet the requirements for Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program. As per the latest changes, hospitals will be able to submit the quality data via federal Quality Net portal until December 31, 2014. There are many hospitals that have not yet attested to Meaningful Use stage 2, and this is the prime reason for the extension of date. Most of the Congress and CMS expect these hospitals to keep up with the CMS requirements.

It is the duty of the health leaders to see to it that the hospitals in the country get attested to Meaningful Use and they will ensure it. This decision of CMS will be a great relief to the hospitals. Let us hope that these hospitals make the most out of the extended deadline.

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