Ian Lane is back with his insights on Meaningful Use and getting your practice ready for 2014! He's already given us great advice about secure communications and interoperability in your EHR, importance of system workflow, and the differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. Today, he wants to help you get 2014 off to a fast start and make sure you're prepared for 2014 attestation.
Ian's Insights: Is Your Practice Ready for 2014 Meaningful Use Attestation?
Once your practice has implemented your 2014 Certified Complete EHR or combination of one or more modules to make up an equivalent to a complete EHR, and you and your staff are comfortable with the new functionality in your upgraded system, your attention will turn to starting the 90 day Meaningful Use attestation period.
When preparing to attest to Meaningful Use, it is useful to start with the end result in mind and work backwards to assure no detail is overlooked. Attestation is an exercise in project management. There are multiple objectives to accomplish among the various tasks during the 90 days, so it's important not to overlook anything. One way to manage this is to appoint a Meaningful Use project manager to keep an eye on all aspects of Meaningful Use and to report regularly on what is going well. This will also help you determine which items on the Meaningful Use plan are at risk of either not being completed correctly or on schedule.
Preparation and Planning are Key
- Read the Meaningful Use requirements carefully again at the start of your attestation period, and then again every 30 days so that you don't overlook anything.
- Remember, the attestation period is 90 consecutive days, but must be started on the first day of any quarter in the year of attestation (January, April, July, or October).
- Schedule to run Meaningful Use reports for each eligible doctor weekly, so from a management perspective you know exactly where you are relative to meeting the measures as you only have a single quarter to report on in your first year of the stage you're attesting to.
- Because the attestation reporting is date sensitive it is imperative that you take, store, and securely file dated screenshots of anything that will demonstrate that your data was gathered within your attestation period.
- Keep everything in a file folder with a backup hardcopy. The last thing you want to deal with in the case of pre/post Meaningful Use payment review is not having all of your data due to a hard drive failure on your computer. This way, you will have all of your information organized and available with minimum stress or interuption to your day-to-day patient care.
Fortunately for everyone, the 2014 certified EHRs will have reporting systems that will help keep most of the reporting for each provider in the practice organized. And the CMS has developed excellent resources to help you through the entire process:
- Eligible Professionals Guide to Stage 2 of The EHR Incentive Programs
- Stage 2 Tool Kit
- Attestation User Guide
- Example of an Attestation Worksheet for Stage 1
- Welcome to the Medicare Registration and Attestation System
- Registration User Guide for Doctors that are Registering for Stage 1 in 2014
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