As many of you are aware, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009 allocated nearly $20 billion in funds to facilitate the adoption of EHR systems by healthcare professionals. These financial incentives are now available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
In order to qualify for CMS Medicare EHR incentive programs, you must adopt an ONC-ATCB certified EHR system and use it in a meaningful way as outlined by the program. Care360 EHR from Quest Diagnostics earned its certification in December 2010, making it an outstanding option for healthcare providers who are interested in participating in these incentive programs. Care360 makes the transition to EHR easier because you can take a modular approach to implementation, purchasing different products, or modules, and building on them over time at a pace convenient for your practice or hospital.
Achieving Meaningful Use
During the first year of EHR adoption, healthcare providers must reach certain benchmarks in order to be eligible for EHR incentive funds. These benchmarks vary depending on whether you are seeking Medicare or Medicaid incentive reimbursement.
In order to qualify for financial incentives through the Medicare program, you must be able to demonstrate Meaningful Use during the first year you participate in the program, as well as each following year.
The Medicaid EHR incentive program allows you to qualify for funding if you adopt a certified EHR system, upgrade your existing EHR or demonstrate Meaningful Use during the first year you participate. In order to qualify for participation and incentive funds in succeeding years, you must demonstrate continued Meaningful Use of EHR technology.
There are three components of Meaningful Use that you must be able to demonstrate in order to meet the requirements:
- Use of a certified EHR system in a meaningful way, such as ePrescribing
- Use of a certified EHR system to exchange health information electronically to improve patient care
- Use of a certified EHR system to submit clinical quality measures and other measures
Care360 EHR offers detailed recordkeeping that helps you keep track of information required to meet these objectives. By effectively measuring your progress, you can ensure that your EHR system is on track to qualify for financial incentives.