Using Innovative Technology Towards Better Quality Patient Care Blog Feature
Constance Berner, RN

By: Constance Berner, RN on August 26th, 2015

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Using Innovative Technology Towards Better Quality Patient Care

Clinical Data | Payor Enrollment | Data | Meaningful Use | Payor

Clinical Data, Payor Enrollment, Data, Meaningful Use

There are a lot of exciting changes happening in healthcare right now. One of the big ones is a push toward using technology and Meaningful Use data. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH) was instrumental in the adoption of electronic medical records (EMR). The goal is for electronic medical record (EMR) adoption to increase patient safety as well as a higher standard of quality care.

So, what is Meaningful Use?

Stage 1 – Goals are to adopt EMR systems, capturing and sharing healthcare data.

Stage 2 – Goals are to advance clinical processes using EMR systems.

Stage 3 – Goals are to improve population health through EMR systems patient centric care.  

Medicare or Medicaid Program

CMS Meaningful Use for eligible providers (EP) have two programs. Here is the breakdown:

  • Medicaid stimulus program pays up to $63,750 over 6 years.
  • Attestation for Medicaid MU program is done via each state’s website.
  • Providers must have 30% of billable Medicaid charges to participate in the Medicaid program.
  • Pediatricians qualify for CMS Medicaid program with 20% of billable Medicaid charges.
  • Broader scope of the Meaningful Use program for EP.
  • No minimum requirements on the amount or percentage of Medicare to participate in this program.
  • Incentive payments stopped in 2015 as far as if this is your first year attesting.
  • Beginning in 2015, eligible professionals who do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will be subject to a payment adjustment. The payment reduction starts at 1% and increases each year that an eligible professional does not demonstrate meaningful use, to a maximum of 5% (CMS, 2015). 

Reporting Period

In 2015, the reporting period is 365 days for EP’s who are in Stage 2. 

2014 Definition of Stage 1 Requirements

Eligible professionals must meet:

  • 13 required core objectives
  • 5 menu objectives from a list of 9
  • Total of 18 objectives

Stage 2 Requirements

Eligible professionals must meet:

  • 17 core objectives
  • 3 menu objectives that they select from a total list of 6
  • Total of 20 objectives 

Coming Soon: Stage 3

Proposed final ruling for Stage 3 has not been finalized. Stage 3 targets simplifying and reducing the reporting burden for eligible providers (Health IT. Gov, 2015). Stage 3 proposes decreasing the reporting period to 90 days.  Stage 3 proposed ruling would change all providers to a single stage program in 2018, easing the difficult task of trying to understand what stage and year a provider would be attesting.  

Getting providers and facilities on board with this new ideal and standard is going to be a lengthy work in progress, but the end goal is to better serve the community at large, and use technology to take a big step toward providing a higher and more advanced level of care.


About Constance Berner, RN

Constance Berner is a Registered Nurse with more than 15 years experience in ICU, ER, and Flight nursing. In the past 5 years, Constance has worked with nearly 1,000 clinicians to achieve Meaningful Use.