Meaningful Use is implemented in a phased approach over a series of 3 stages.
Promotes basic EHR adoption and data gathering
Emphasizes care coordination and exchange of patient information
Improves healthcare outcomes
You will complete each Stage for at least 2 years before moving onto the next. Learn more »
We are pleased to announce that Practice Fusion EHR Version 3.0 has been certified as a 2014 Meaningful Use Complete EHR. Practice Fusion’s EHR Version 3.0 utilizes Updox Direct 2014 for direct messaging. Learn more »
If you care for Medicare or Medicaid patients, you may qualify for the Meaningful Use program.
Meaningful Use encourages you to switch from paper charts to electronic records while giving the best care to your patients. It improves your practice’s efficiency, and will earn you incentives. To avoid Meaningful Use Medicare penalties, you need to start Meaningful Use no later than 2014.
To demonstrate Meaningful Use with your EHR, you must report on all of the program’s core measures and some of the menu measures.
Meaningful Use requires you to report on a set of clinical quality measures (CQMs), which enable providers to track various aspects of patient care.
During your first year of meeting Meaningful Use, you have to fulfill the criteria over a 90-day reporting period. After that, you have to demonstrate the criteria for a full calendar year. In 2014, providers beyond their first year of Meaningful Use will participate in a quarterly reporting period tied to quarters of the calendar year.
If you’re participating in the Medicaid program, you can Adopt, Implement, or Upgrade (AIU) a certified EHR or demonstrate meaningful use of one in your first year to earn incentives. You would follow the reporting timeline starting next year.
Medicare incentive payments are equal to 75% of your annual Medicare Part B allowed charges up to a maximum yearly amount (see chart below).
Beginning in 2015, providers who are eligible for the Medicare Meaningful Use program who don’t successfully demonstrate Meaningful Use will be penalized—starting at 1% of Medicare Part B reimbursements and increasing each year to a maximum of 5%. There will be hardship exemptions for eligible providers.
If you see Medicaid patients, you can earn up to $63,750 in incentive payments over the six years that you choose to participate in the program (see chart below). If you start in 2014, you can earn incentives through 2019. Please consult your state’s agency for information about a specific payment schedule.
You may be exempt from Medicare penalties if you can show that demonstrating Meaningful Use would result in a significant hardship. To be considered for an exemption, you must complete a Hardship Exception application along with the proof of the hardship. If approved, the hardship exemption is valid for only one payment year, and you would need to submit a new application for subsequent years. Examples of hardship exception circumstances include: lack of infrastructure, unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, and lack of face-to-face patient interaction. Learn more about hardship exceptions.