Medicare Attestation of “Meaningful Use” Begins April 18

Physicians who believe they have met the objectives to qualify for meaningful use incentives under the Medicare Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) Incentive Program can start attesting to having met the criteria on April 18, 2011.  Although registration for meaningful use began on January 1, 2011, physicians are required to meet the meaningful use criteria for 90 consecutive days before they qualify for incentive payments. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has published a Medicare user guide and webinar to help physicians with registration and attestation.

Physicians are encouraged to register as soon as possible, even if they do not yet have a certified EHR or enrollment record in PECOS.

In Stage 1 of meaningful use, meaningful use includes both a core set and a menu set of objectives that are specific for physicians.

Eligible Professionals must complete:

  • 15 core objectives
  • 5 objectives out of 10 from menu set
  • 6 total clinical quality measures (3 core or alternate core, and 3 out of 28 from alternate set)

It is important for physicians to make sure to start their 90-day reporting period no later than October 1, 2011, in order to attest and receive a Medicare payment in 2011.

For more information, go to Medicare EHR Incentive Program User Guide and the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Webinar.

© 2011 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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How to Control the Costs of Adopting Electronic Medical Records

One of the growing trends for healthcare practices in 2010 is the adoption of electronic medical records (“EMR”).  By managing the selection and adoption of EMR correctly, practices will save money in the long-term. 

Well-researched and efficient management of the selection and adoption process will help a healthcare practice cut costs and reduce frustration.  The following are five key strategies to follow:

  • Make sure you have a full understanding of what an EMR can really be expected to do before you buy a product.
  • Obtain input from all of areas of the practice, including administrative and clinical support staff, regarding what is needed in terms of EMR.
  • Use the opportunity to change workflow rather than try to make the tool work just like the practice.
  • Do not worry about accommodating every single person’s ideas regarding how the software should look and work – focus on the overall picture.
  • Do not try to save money by skimping on training – proper use of EMR is essential for efficiency and cutting costs.

An EMR can be a great tool that improves a healthcare practice’s efficiency, reduces costs, and increases revenue.  By taking the time to make a careful EMR selection and following the above strategies, the practice will greatly benefit from the product.

© 2010 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

  For more information, contact