Meaningful Use Overview
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The law includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health ACT (HITECH Act), which was intended to accelerate the adoption of health information technology (HIT) and the use of qualified electronic health record systems (EHRs).
The EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) provides payment to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) when they meet a set of standards for the use of federally certified EHR technology (CEHRT) as part of their practice. Meaningful Use was established as a progressive, 3-stage program:
- Stage 1: Use of CEHRT for data capturing & sharing (began in 2011)
- Stage 2: Use of CEHRT to advance clinical processes (began in 2014)
- Stage 3: Use of CEHRT to move toward improved health outcomes (scheduled to begin in 2018)
On Friday, October 16, 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final Rule that details the criteria participants must meet in order to qualify for incentive payments under the Meaningful Use program. This Final Rule includes Modifications to Meaningful Use for 2015-2017, as well as the provisions for Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond.
Meaningful Use Requirements for 2015-2017
Objectives & Measures
- For 2015-2017, all providers will attest to a single set of objectives and measures. These are modifications of the original Stage 2 Objectives.
- All providers are required to use 2014 Edition CEHRT for their EHR reporting periods in 2015. In 2016 and 2017, providers may use 2014 Edition CEHRT or 2015 Edition CEHRT.
- To allow for flexibility, there are alternate exclusions and specifications for providers who qualify.
- To help providers meet the objectives, CMS made modifications to 2 patient engagement measures.
EHR Reporting Period
- Starting in 2015, the reporting period for all providers will be based on the calendar year.
- For 2015 EHR reporting ONLY, the reporting period for all providers will be any continuous 90-day period.
- In 2016 and 2017, first time participants may use an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90 days in the calendar year.
- In 2016 and 2017, all returning participants are required to use an EHR reporting period of a full calendar year.
- The “EHR Reporting Period” refers to the reporting period for the Measures tied to each of the 2015-2017 Objectives. Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) often require a different time frame.
Payment Adjustments & Attestation Deadlines
- Medicaid EHR Incentive Program participants should contact their State Medicaid program for details about payment adjustments and attestation deadlines
- All Medicare EHR Incentive Program participants must do their 2015 attestation between January 4 and February 29, 2016.
- Medicaid changes to patient volume calculations
- CHIP patients eligible to be included in Medicaid patient volumes
- Base year changes for Medicaid hospital incentive payment calculation
- 2014 Edition CEHRT clinical quality measures
- 2014 Edition CEHRT pediatric recommended core measures
General Resources for MU 2015-2017