More and more office-based physicians plan to implement EMRs and qualify for federal incentive payments, according to recent survey data released by the ONC. Moreover, 41 percent of doctors surveyed are planning to achieve meaningful use and take advantage of the incentive payments.
The final rule on meaningful use was released on July 13, and is significantly more flexible than earlier versions. Specifically, the final rule includes “core” and “menu” requirements. It appears that practitioners are generally happy with the final rule on meaningful use that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordination (ONC) released on July 13. The 864-page document, which took into account more than 2,000 comments received during a 60-day period, is significantly more flexible than earlier versions.
As you probably know by now, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) includes significant incentives for medical professionals who provide Medicare or Medicaid services and use an electronic medical record (EMR)—but to be eligible, you have to be a “meaningful user”. According to National Health IT Coordinator David Blumenthal, MD, quality measures are at the heart meaingful use.
Finally, a step forward in the vague standards regarding electronic medical records (EMRs): A government agency has created “meaningful use” recommendations. To be reimbursed for the installation of EMRs under Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), medical professionals must use a “certified” EMR in a “meaningful” way.