How “Meaningful Use” Can Be Meaningful to Your Patients

With the final ruling on the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) incentive program coming this past July of 2010, professionals and hospitals learned that they need to not only adopt an EHR to qualify for the incentive, but prove their meaningful use of the EHR within their treatment facility. The requirements for proving meaningful use span from core requirements to additional menu set requirements. The purpose of “meaningful use” is not to add more hurdles to jump over in order to obtain the incentive money, but to provide true benefits to the facilities and patients involved – which is the overall objective of the ARRA HIT program in general.

Theresa Walunas PhD, Director of Operations at the Chicago Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center, described a personal situation involving her father’s healthcare, in which her father almost lost his life due to a situation which could have been avoided with the meaningful use of an EHR system. Read her story here. She describes some of the specific requirements for proving “meaningful use” which would have been helpful in preventing her father’s close call.

Stories like Theresa’s are not rare, and although many patients might not know that it is an EHR system that might have prevented their unfortunate situations, they are wise enough to know that healthcare overall needs better communication and record-keeping. So is the government; hence the reform. Given the incentives the government is providing, the penalties for not doing so, the efficiency it would add to your office, and the benefits for your patients, there is no reason not to implement EHR in your practice.

For those of you who are considering this positive change to your practice, we have included additional information about the things that we’ve discussed today. Below you can find links to the actual requirements for proving meaningful use, as well as a link to the application for registering for the incentive program and pertinent dates you will need to keep in mind.

While we fully encourage you to make the choice that is the best for your particular practice’s needs, we want to remind you that Medisoft Clinical has been approved by CCHIT and is qualified for the ARRA reimbursement. If you would like to discuss how Medisoft Clinical may be able to meet your needs for the incentive, you may visit our website for more information:

Core requirements for professionals

Core requirements for hospitals and critical access hospitals

Visit the CMS website about the incentive programs to find pertinent dates

Categories: ARRA, Billing, Electronic Health Records, Healthcare Industry, Meaningful Use