EHR: Meaningful Use Established, Temporary Certification Begins

Last month, ACA News provided an in-depth overview of converting to electronic health records (EHR), specifically focusing on what conversion to EHR would entail and what types of systems are available on the market. (See August 2010 ACA News, Pages 12-15.)

To qualify for up to $44,000 in government incentives, doctors of chiropractic must: 1) demonstrate meaningful use of an EHR; 2) use certified EHR software.

Demonstrating Meaningful Use
On July 13, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized regulations on meaningful use of EHR. In January, when the proposed rule on meaningful use was released, ACA identified several concerns with the criteria and outlined those concerns in comments to CMS. CMS’ final rule on meaningful use reflects changes in response to ACA’s concerns. For example, the requirement to electronically prescribe medication has been modified so that individuals who write fewer than 100 prescriptions in one year will not have to meet the requirement to e-prescribe to achieve meaningful use. In addition, the performance of medication reconciliation is no longer an essential objective for demonstrating meaningful use. These changes ensure that DCs will not be precluded from achieving meaningful use simply because of scope of practice regulations.  

For an overview of the final rule on meaningful use, go to www.acatoday.org/ehr and look for upcoming issues of ACA News.

Using Certified EHR Software
On July 1, CMS began accepting applications from EHR software vendors seeking to receive a certification. This fall, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will begin publishing a listing of products that receive temporary certification (a Certified HIT Products List) on http://dhhs.gov/healthit.

The temporary certification program ensures that the EHR products are technically capable of supporting providers’ efforts to achieve meaningful use. The temporary certification program will be replaced by a permanent certification program (anticipated on Jan. 1, 2012, at the earliest).

Participation Criteria
To participate in the EHR incentive program, providers must:

  • register at www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms (Registration will open in January 2011.)
  • be enrolled in Medicare Fee For Service or Medicare Advantage Plan
  • have a National Provider Identifier (NPI)
  • use certified EHR technology
  • be enrolled in PECOS.  (For information on PECOS, visit www.acatoday.org/medicare and click on the link to “Enrollment FAQs.”)


Registration requirements include:

  • name of the eligible professional
  • National Provider Identifier (NPI)
  • business address and business phone
  • Taxpayer Identification Number to which the provider would like the incentive payment made.

Providers will also be required to indicate they are enrolling in the Medicare incentive program.

For more information, go to www.acatoday.org/EHR and www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. If you have any questions, please contact gr@acatoday.org.
 

ACA News Extra...


Important Dates to Remember:

Fall 2011 – Certified EHR technology will be available and listed online at: http://dhhs.gov/healthit.
January 2011 – Registration for the EHR Incentive Programs begins at www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms.
May 2011 – Medicare incentive payments begin.
Feb. 29, 2012 – Last day for providers to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for calendar year 2011.
2016 – Last year to receive a Medicare EHR incentive payment.