Meaningful Use

Meaningful use is using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to: Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities. Engage patients and family. Improve care coordination, and population and public health.

Meaningful use, which CMS changed to "advancing care information" and rolled out under the Medicare Merit-based Incentive Payment System, will now be called "promoting interoperability."

OMB Receives Final Rules for Meaningful Use Stage 3

The Office of Management and Budget announced it has received for review the final rules for meaningful use Stage 3 and program modifications for 2015 through 2017, Healthcare IT News reports (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 9/4).

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Details of Stage 3 Proposed Rule

In March, HHS released a proposed rule for Stage 3 of the meaningful use program.

Under the proposal, all eligible professionals beginning in 2018 would report on Stage 3 of the meaningful use program regardless of their previous participation. Providers would have the option to move to Stage 3 starting in 2017 (iHealthBeat, 7/24).

In addition, the proposed rule would "change the EHR reporting period so that all providers would report under a full calendar year timeline," except for those attesting to the Medicaid meaningful use program for the first time. The proposed rule also would raise the threshold for several program requirements and would require eligible professionals to fulfill two of three options for ensuring patient engagement (iHealthBeat, 3/20).

Details of Proposed Rule for Modifications for 2015 Through 2017

In April, CMS released a proposed rule that would shorten Medicare and Medicaid meaningful use attestation for eligible professionals and hospitals to a 90-day period in 2015.

In addition, the proposed rule would:

  • Realign the reporting period starting in 2015 to allow hospitals to participate on the calendar year instead of the current fiscal year period;
  • Reduce the number of meaningful use objectives to improve advanced use of EHRs; and
  • Remove redundant measures and those that have become widely adopted (iHealthBeat, 9/2).

Groups Voice Concern Over Delays in Finalizing Rules

Several hospital groups have raised concerns about CMS' delay in finalizing the proposed changes, noting that requirements related to mandatory electronic prescribing and public health reporting "would be virtually impossible for hospitals to accommodate" because release of the final rule has been delayed (iHealthBeat, 8/7).

The Medical Group Management Association also has voiced concerns about the delay and urged CMS to extend the 2015 reporting period for the meaningful use program (iHealthBeat, 9/2).

Final Rules Under Review

In a statement, CMS said, "We appreciate provider interest in the EHR Incentive Programs and in our final regulations in particular... CMS intends to finalize a set of requirements that addresses attestation deadlines and reduces the overall reporting burden on providers and provides flexibility for the reporting periods in 2015."

It is unclear when the final rules will be released. According to FierceEMR, OMB usually has 90 days to complete a review, but the review period can be extended (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 9/4).

Source: iHealthBeat, Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Crash test dummies and The Usability of Electronic Health Records

The big business interests of the Healthcare industry cried wolf (and lobbied hard)

against the meaningful use (now called “Promoting Interoperability”) program and enhancements to the usability requirements. Perhaps because they don’t want to spend the extra time and money to provide a healthcare system that truly follows a safety-enhanced design philosophy.

Are you ready for the ONC 2015 Certification (Meaningful Use 3)?

The Usability People provide real value to your team by promoting and embracing the User-centered Design approach that has been shown to have a 10 to 100 times ROI.

Is your EHR ready for the new features that are required to be evaluated for Meaningful Use?

We can design a satisfying user experience with usable interfaces to the many new required EHR features that have been identified in the 2015 Certification criteria.

When your system is ready, we provide a cost-effective and complete summative usability evaluation that is suitable for submission to your ATCB (Drummond, Infoguard, ISCA Labs, etc.).

We have sucessfully completed usability testing for the Safety-enhanced Design portion of the ONC 2015 Certification (aka Meaningful Use Stage 3) for a number of EHR vendors and are available to help you.

The Usability People would welcome the opportunity to work with you on improving the Usability of Healthcare IT. Together we may save a life!

Eligible Hospitals Can Attest to First Year of Meaningful Use in 2015

CMS said it will allow eligible hospitals looking to participate in the Medicare meaningful use program for the first time in fiscal year 2015 to attest this summer, rather than waiting until next year, AHA News reports.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (AHA News, 6/29).

Rule Change Details

Previously, hospitals participating in the Medicare meaningful use program for the first time had been required to wait until Jan. 1, 2016, to attest because of certain system changes.

However, the rule change allows such eligible hospitals to begin attesting anytime between now and Aug. 14.

According to Becker's Health IT & CIO Review, hospitals that choose to attest this summer will not be able to attest to the meaningful use modifications for 2015 through 2017. Instead, they must attest to the Stage 1 requirements in place during the start of 2014 (Jayanthi, Becker's Health IT & CIO Review, 6/29).

In addition, eligible hospitals that attest this summer:

  • Can attest using the 90-day reporting period (AHA News, 6/29); and
  • Will not be able to attest again until January 2017, when they will have to attest using the full-year reporting period (Walsh, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 6/29).
Source: iHealthBeat, Wednesday, July 1, 2015