In July, we wrote about the speculation that Stage 2 of the Medicare incentive program was to be delayed until 2014. On November 30th, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed that this would indeed be the case.
As you know, Quality Measures were primarily designed for general practitioners and hospitals, not for psychiatrists. As a result many of the existing quality measures will not apply to your practice. Over time, we expect NQF, the body that creates quality measures, to add more measures that are relevant to an outpatient psychiatric practice. As this occurs, we’ll shift our focus to supporting those measures.
When the government is advertising free money, it’s hard to say no. But when the incentive amounts for implementing an EMR system and/or attesting to meaningful use add up to a maximum of 44,000 for Medicare or $63,750 for Medicaid, one can’t help but wonder if it is all a scam. The requirements for obtaining the incentive money are not overly difficult, which is why many providers are struggling to believe that the government will follow through on their promised monetary reward.
From ePrescribing to Clinical Decision Support, we've learned how to incorporate it all into meaningful use of EMR and EHR technology over the last 5 weeks!
It looked as if Core Measure 13, Clinical Summaries, was going to be the hardest objective to meet in meaningful use. And what's more, patients would in many cases not benefit from, or want to receive, the summary. Well, we have good news! Our contacts at CMS have clarified for us that as long as an offer is made to provide the clinical summary, the measure is satisfied, whether or not the patient declines to receive it. So it's way easier than we thought it would be. This is just another reason to jump in and achieve meaningful use in 2011.
We finished the Core Objectives of meaningful use last week, so this week we are moving on to the Menu Objectives!
This week we are wrapping up the Core Objectives for meaningful use of EMR/EHR technology!
Last week we covered Core Objectives 5-8 of meaningful use of EMR/EHR technology. Despite it being a government holiday, meaningful use waits for no one! So, I bring to you the next installment of our series: Core Objectives 9-12.
1. Look at the CMS attestation work sheet, followed by any other recommended training from your EHR vendor. In my experience, there is nothing that reduces anxiety about meaningful use faster than walking through the attestation work sheet. It turns something amorphous, abstract, and sometimes overwhelming into something quite manageable and concrete. Try it; you’ll see what I mean.
I’ve talked elsewhere about how quality customer support can make a powerful EHR optimally usable. This is especially true for the features of an ONC Certified EHR that are required for demonstrating meaningful use. Your Account Manager (yes, you’ll need one of those to help you navigate meaningful use!) is going to be your best friend long before you receive your $18,000 check from CMS.