CMS released a couple of updates last month regarding Meaningful Use and the EHR incentive program. I wanted to pass this information along to our readers.
In their December 7 update, CMS indicated that “HHS announced its intention to delay the start of Stage 2 meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for a period of one year for those first attesting to meaningful use in 2011”. The reason as such, according to them, is that the current schedule for compliance to Stage 2 could be a challenge for those that attested in 2011. The decision also was in consideration for vendors and practices.
The CMS update identified some benefits from the proposal:
- The delay could provide vendors more time to develop their certified technologies for Stage 2
- The delay could also provide providers more time to implement the new software to meet Stage 2 requirements
- Expectations remain current so that providers attesting in either 2011 or 2012 begin Stage 2 in 2014
- And while 2011 has passed, CMS believed this idea would provide added incentive for providers to attest in 2011.
While I am sure there is a group of people out there that is ambitious enough to keep pace for this process, I am certain that we all can stand to benefit from the proposed delay. The benefits from the added amount of time for both the vendors and practices/providers seem more appealing, in my opinion.
Back on December 1, CMS also announced a new tool to help Eligible Professionals (EPs) through the phases of Meaningful Use. This tool is an eighty-five (85) page PDF file, dubbed as a “Beginner’s Guide”. This file provides a thorough, interactive walkthrough of Meaningful Use.
Among the items of information provided are:
- EHR Incentive Program basics
- How to participate (determining eligibility and registration)
- Meaningful use and choosing measures
- Helpful resources on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
Lastly, they also provided a link to their Educational Materials page for the EHR Incentive Program. This link offers an extensive array of files and tools regarding the EHR Incentive Program. This is definitely a link to bookmark, as well as the guide previously mentioned.
If you haven’t already done so, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Programs webpage and register to receive their email notifications.
Contact Galen Healthcare Solutions for any additional questions regarding Meaningful Use and Allscripts EnterpriseTM EHR.