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What is Meaningful Use?
Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specified objectives. Some of these objectives are called "meaningful use" objectives, which simply mean the measureable benchmarks providers must meet to qualify for the incentive payments.
These meaningful use requirements vary between the Medicare and the Medicaid incentive programs. To qualify for incentive payments, meaningful use requirements must be met in the following ways:
- Medicare EHR Incentive Program - Eligible professionals and hospitals must successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology every year they participate in the program.
- Medicaid EHR Incentive Program - Eligible professionals and hospitals may qualify for incentive payments for the adoption, implementation, upgrade or the demonstration of meaningful use in their first year of participation. They must successfully demonstrate meaningful use for the remaining years they participate in the program.
The most important part of Meaningful Use is that the eligible clinician has been using a Certified EHR system. ICANotes is a Certified EHR.
How Will Clinicians Demonstrate Meaningful Use?
For the first year, 2011, all that will be required is the clinician's attestation that the meaningful use criteria have been met.