As a health care I.T. service provider, we dedicate a significant amount of time following the evolution of the Health Care Reform. This reform, and the requirements it introduced, has imposed quite the undertaking for those in the health care industry. Never fear, though, because we are here to educate and assist you throughout the entire process. Whether your practice is in need of a complete electronic medical records solution (EHR/EMR), or you simply need assistance implementing and meeting meaningful use with a solution you have already purchased, we are here to help you every step of the way.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was signed into law on February 17, 2009, to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) is spending nearly $26 billion to promote the expansion and adoption of health I.T. To receive the incentive dollars, physicians and hospitals must prove Meaningful Use of their electronic medical records solution. For those who adopt and use certified EHR’s, physicians and hospitals are entitled to a maximum of $44,000 for Medicare and $63,750 for Medicaid over a 5 year and 6 year term respectively beginning in 2011. Those who do not adopt an EHR by 2015 will be penalized up to 3% on Medicare claims.
As part of the HITECH Act, meaningful use defines the eligibility for incentive dollars in several stages. Stage 1 of meaningful use defines two categories of requirements (Core and Menu) that include multiple measures that need to be taken to prove that the physicians and hospitals are effectively using EHR.
In August, 2012, stage 2 of meaningful use was released to further define the requirements introduced in stage 1. Stage 2 added a general increase for the number of core and menu objectives that must be met in addition to focusing on information exchange and patient engagement.