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CMS, HIPAA, HIE, and HIT | Meaningful Use Criteria for Optometrists

Posted by Sharon Chin on Mar 3, 2014 10:30:00 AM
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For those of you who are starting with Meaningful Use this year, some of these might sound familiar:

Meaningful_Use_Criteria_for_Optometrists

But what do all those acronyms mean? We’ll give you a clue… They are all related to the government entity in-charge of the Meaningful Use Program. We’ve picked out these four acronyms because understanding these basics will help you get a clear picture of what Meaningful Use is all about and why it is important to the healthcare industry. Most importantly, it’s a great place to get started before you look into how to fulfil the Meaningful Use criteria for optometrists.

4 Acronyms to Help You Understand Meaningful Use Criteria for Optometrists

CMS: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

The CMS is the federal agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for a variety of programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and HIPAA. They are also responsible for the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs.

While you may think they are just another big bad government agency, their overall goal is to help build and maintain a high quality health care system that aims at lower costs and improved health, but they’re going to need your help to do it!

HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIPAA is an act that was passed in 1996 that mandates the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for anyone when they change or lose jobs. It also mandates standards for health care information and electronic billing, and requires the confidential handling of health information. HIPAA requires health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers to follow its privacy rules and regulations.

HIE: Health Information Exchange

HIE provides the capability to move clinical information electronically between multiple health care computer systems, while maintaining the integrity, confidentiality, privacy, and security of that information. When it comes to the Meaningful Use Program, it refers to the transfer of information from one EHR to another.

Efforts to improve overall quality of healthcare through the electronic exchange of health information kick-started HIE. HIE can be confusing because it can refer to the action of electronically sharing health-related information, or it can refer to the actual organization that provides services to enable the electronic sharing of health information. HIE is the link behind the scenes that allows your EHR to connect with other EHRs in order to electronically share information.

HIT: Health Information Technology

HIT is an over-arching term for the electronic management of health information and the secure exchange of health information between patients, providers, government entities, and insurers. But, this term doesn’t only apply to you as a healthcare provider. Patients who have access to patient portals through their doctors are using HIT to communicate with their doctors to learn and share information about their own health.

Think you're a pro with these acroynms now? Check out a bunch more in our newest eBook! It's great for those who are getting started with Meaningful Use or looking for a new practice management and EHR solution.

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Topics: Industry Pulse, EHR Software

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