We all have skeletons in our closet -things we hide, fear, or even fear to admit. But the thing about keeping skeletons in our closets is how it can come back to haunt us. The same goes for optometry Meaningful Use. If you just haven’t had the time or just refuse to get started with the program, the consequences (aka penalties) may be here to haunt you. We’re here to make up for your lack of Meaningful Use knowledge so you know what to expect going into the program this year.
How Many Optometry Meaningful Use Skeletons Do You Have in Your Closet?
The Meaningful Use Program was introduced in 2009 as part of the HITECH Act to promote the use of electronic health records (EHRs) in an effort to make healthcare more consistent, transparent, and allow for the measurement of quality of care.
Early adopters of the Meaningful Use Program qualify for incentive payments. 2014 will be the last year that a doctor can register for payments. Here comes the scary part: 2015 will be the first year of payment adjustments, which means lower reimbursements to your practice for care provided to Medicare patients. If you are eligible and choose not to participate by 2015, your practice will be penalized through lower reimbursements for care provided to Medicare patients. They start at 1% per year, and compounds every year up to a maximum 5% annual adjustment.
The payment adjustments begin at the start of 2015, but the deadline to attest to receive incentive payments was October 1, 2014. You might have already missed this deadline, but it doesn’t mean that your practice has to be hit by penalties! Here are a couple of important dates to keep in mind:
Most of you will also not be able to meet the Dec 31, 2014 if you have not implemented a system. But there’s still time to apply for a hardship exemption and start preparing for 2016. Make sure you check out the following blog posts about Meaningful Use to help you get started:
- The Latest Update on Meaningful Use Criteria: Find out how the Final Rule will affect your participation this year
- Getting Up to Speed with Stage 1: Get a quick overview of the Meaningful Use Program
- All the Meaningful Use Resources You Need: Use this list of resources to help you prepare
If you want to start participating in Meaningful Use either this year or next, you’ll need to look out for a 2014 certified system! Uprise is a cloud-based practice management and EHR system that has complete certification!