Just in case you were out of the loop, it's 2014 and Meaningful Use Stage 2 is ready for you! The crazy holiday season is now over, and it's time to focus your extra efforts on getting your practice up-to-date and ready for this year, and the years to come. This all starts with having the right EHR system in your office. There are plenty of EHR systems out there that do the job, but not all of them will give you the ability to get a head start on participating in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. We want you to know exactly why Meaningful Use criteria for ODs is important for you to understand!
Meaningful Use Criteria for ODs:
Tips You Need to Know for 2014
All of this Meaningful Use talk can start to get pretty confusing, so let's run down the basics. The Meaningful Use Incentive Program was implemented to promote the use of electronic health records (EHRs) to make the quality of healthcare more consistent and transparent. Basically, it's a way for patient health records to be transported between doctors, regardless of their specialties.
What's the difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2? The main focus of Stage 1 is EHR impelmentation, data capture, and small steps towards information sharing. To participate you must meet the requirements of 15 core objectives, 5/10 menu objectives, and 6 clinical quality measures. Once you have reported and attested to Stage 1, you're ready to begin Stage 2. Stage 2 goes more in depth and concentrates on the increased use of E-Prescribing, incorporating lab results, and electronic transmission of patient care summaries across different healthcare settings. Requirements for Stage 2 include 17 core objectives, 3 menu objectives, and 9 clinical quality measures. And in order to participate in Stage 2, you need a 2014 certified EHR system.
So what does this mean for you and your practice? When you choose to begin the Meaningful Use process and switch over to a certified system, you'll be doing yourself and your office a huge favor! These systems reduce medical errors, come with clinical decision support, and improve overall communication between you and your patients. The 17 core requirements outlined in Meaningful Use Stage 2 are there to help your office run smoother and faster. And a certified EHR will help you record and chart changes in vital signs, provide clinical summaries for patients, submit electronic data, and so much more!
There is a catch you should be aware of. Some EHR systems are 2011 certified for Meaningful Use. The certification "expired" on these systems at the start of 2014, and all 2011 certified systems have to be re-certified. So if you're looking for a new system and want to get started with Meaningful Use right away, you'll want to ask about the vendor's plans for 2014 certification, if they aren't already certified.
Whether you choose to start participating in the Meaningful Use Incentive Program or not, come 2015 - which is only a year away, all practices that are not participating will start facing penalties through lower reimbursements for Medicare patients.
For more information about Meaningful Use, check out our eBook if you haven't, A Beginner's Guide to Meaningful Use. It's bound to answer all of your questions and steer you in the right direction for your practice!