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Meaningful Use

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. This effort is led by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and allows eligible providers who achieve “meaningful use” to receive incentive payments to help off set the cost of purchasing an EHR.

Meaningful Use focuses on 5 pillars of health:

  • Improving quality, safety, efficiency, and reducing health disparities
  • Engage patients and families in their health
  • Improve care coordination
  • Improve population and public health
  • Ensure adequate privacy and security protection for personal health information

Eligible Professionals have to meet the measures for the following in order to receive a payment:

 

Stage 1

15 CORE OBJECTIVES—These are objectives that everyone who participates in the program must meet. Some of the core objectives have exclusions that could exempt you from having to meet them, but many of them do not. You have to report on all 15 core objectives and meet the thresholds established by those objectives.

10 MENU OBJECTIVES—You only have to report on 5 out of the 10 available menu objectives. You can choose objectives that make sense for your workflow or practice. Again, some of these objectives have exclusions that could exempt you from having to meet them.

In addition to meeting the thresholds for the 15 core and 5 menu objectives, all eligible professionals have to report on Clinical Quality Measures. We’ll review the Clinical Quality Measures later, but for now you should know that Clinical Quality Measures are different from core and menu objectives. There are no thresholds to meet for Clinical Quality Measures—you simply report the data exactly as it is calculated by your certified EHR.

Stage 2

17 CORE OBJECTIVES—These are objectives that everyone who participates in the program must meet. Some of the core objectives have exclusions that could exempt you from having to meet them, but many of them do not. You have to report on all 17 core objectives and meet the thresholds established by those objectives.

6 MENU OBJECTIVES—You only have to report on 3 out of the 6 available menu objectives. You can choose objectives that make sense for your workflow or practice. Again, some of these objectives have exclusions that could exempt you from having to meet them.

In addition to meeting the thresholds for the 17 core and 3 menu objectives, all eligible professionals have to report on Clinical Quality Measures. We’ll review the Clinical Quality Measures later, but for now you should know that Clinical Quality Measures are different from core and menu objectives. There are no thresholds to meet for Clinical Quality Measures—you simply report the data exactly as it is calculated by your certified EHR.