The American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT, or ARRA was passed in 2009. A portion of this legislation, known as the HITECH Act, or Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, is meant to encourage the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by providing billions of dollars of financial incentives. In this article, Lisa Shock talks about the statute of meaningful use requirements, eligibilities and the associated incentives.
The HITECH Act also makes significant changes to the security and privacy requirements already in place under HIPAA, expanding their scope and coverage, and strengthening penalties for non-compliance. As a result, many medical practices are feeling pressured to embrace EHRs in an effort to receive some of the financial incentives and avoid the potential financial penalties.
Meaningful Use Requirements
Per statute, a provider must demonstrate meaningful use by ensuring use of certified EHR technology in a meaningful manner, such as e-prescribing; that the certified EHR technology is connected in a manner that provides for the electronic exchange of health information; and that the provider submits information on clinical quality measures via certified EHR technology. The final rule, released July 13, 2010, definitively outlines all the specifics of Stage 1 meaningful use required to receive the incentive payments in 2011 and 2012. For eligible professionals, there are 25 meaningful use objectives. At least 20 of the objectives must be met to qualify for an incentive payment.Download entire article (PDF)