Meaningful Use requirements and guidelines: How to prepare now

New Meaningful Use requirements are around the corner, whether you are in Stage 1 or Stage 2 in 2014. Everyone needs to get ready today and start by January 1, 2014 to ensure you successfully achieve the criteria.

Here’s how you can prepare for the new year and set your practice up for a smooth transition:

If 2014 is your first year of Meaningful Use…

Make sure to get set up today so you can hit the ground running and avoid future penalties. First year practices may select any 90-day reporting period – we recommend that you start by July 1, 2014. Medicare providers in their first year of Meaningful Use in 2014 must complete attestation before October 1, 2014 in order to avoid the 2015 payment penalty of 1% of your Part B Medicare reimbursements. Follow the steps below to get started right away:

  • Sign up for eRx - Be sure to sign up for this core requirement today—it can take up to seven days to get verified.

  • Sign up for labs - Connect with your choice of labs to fulfill criteria and save time.

  • Attend a kickoff webinar - Learn how to use your EHR features to fulfill your first year.

If you are in your second year of Stage 1 in 2014…

If you are a Medicare provider in your second year of Stage 1 Meaningful Use in 2014, you must select a three-month reporting period fixed to the quarter of the calendar year – this means you only have four start dates (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1) to choose from. Medicaid providers may select any 90-day or 3-month quarter reporting period that falls within the 2014 calendar year (check with your state program for more info).

What else is new for Stage 1 providers?

All Stage 1 providers must now meet a new core requirement that encourages patient engagement. This new measure requires that 50% of your patients be given timely access to their health information online. Start collecting patient email addresses to enroll your patients in Patient Fusion, a personal health record (PHR), to meet the new measure.

If you are starting Stage 2 in 2014…

Medicare Stage 2 providers must use a reporting period that is fixed to a calendar year quarter in 2014. In addition to choosing a start date of January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1, Stage 2 providers must now meet additional core and menu measures that were not required in Stage 1. For more information on the Stage 2 requirements, check out the CMS guide to Stage 2 criteria changes and read on to learn about the biggest differences.

  • New core requirements - Almost all the menu measures from Stage 1 are moving into the Stage 2 core set in 2014, so requirements like incorporating structured lab results and sending summary of care records for referrals will now be required.
  • Connect to your labs and imaging centers - You will need more than 55% of lab results stored as structured data in your EHR for Stage 2. If you choose the imaging menu measure, more than 10% of imaging results must also accessible through the EHR. You can connect to your labs and imaging centers by visiting the Labs section of your EHR.
  • Patient participation is required – You now need to grant more than 50% of patients electronic electronic access to their health records. In addition, over 5% of your patients will need to log into their Patient Fusion PHR to view their health data online and must also use the PHR to send a secure message to your practice. Have your practice collect email addresses during patient intake and educate your patients about the benefits of online records access. You can also show patients how to log into their accounts and send messages during their office visit to easily fulfill the measure.
  • Regular registry requirements - Immunization submissions will no longer be a one-time event. In Stage 2, you will need to provide ongoing, successful submissions to immunization registries throughout your reporting period. Contact your registry to learn more about their specific submission process.

To learn more about Meaningful Use Stage 2, see one of our free Stage 2 Kickoff webinars.

For more information about Meaningful Use Stage 1, visit our Meaningful Use Center.