CMS Issues Electronic Health Record Meaningful Use Rules


Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, eligible hospitals and healthcare professionals qualify for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement incentives for eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals that are successful in becoming "meaningful users" of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. On July 28, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published regulations related to implementation of HITECH.

Requirements for Meaningful Use Objectives and Measures

The new regulations outline the criteria that certain EPs and hospitals must meet to qualify for payments. Providers must understand that simply adopting EHR technology is not sufficient. Hospitals and physicians must actually demonstrate "meaningful use" of the technology by showing compliance with certain "objectives" and associated "measures." In short, hospitals and EPs will only be eligible for reimbursement incentives if they can demonstrate to CMS that they qualify.

The following are highlights of the new regulations:

Meaningful Use Requirements: The final rule definitively outlines all the specifics of Stage 1 meaningful use and clinical quality measure reporting to receive the incentive payments in 2011 and 2012.

The Recovery Act specifies three main components of Meaningful Use:

The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner (e.g.: e-Prescribing)

The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care

The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measures

Specifics of Stage 1 Meaningful Use (2011 and 2012): Meaningful use includes both a core set and a menu set of objectives that are specific for eligible professionals and hospitals.

For EPs, there are a total of 25 meaningful use objectives. Twenty of the objectives must be completed to qualify for an incentive payment.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Armstrong Teasdale LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Armstrong Teasdale LLP on:

JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.