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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. The Meaningful Use programs have had significant impact on the national adoption and effective use of Health IT.

As of February 2015, 8730 Missouri healthcare professionals and 116 hospitals are eligible to attest to Meaningful Use and receive incentive payments. Missouri providers have received approximately $1.4 million in incentive payments since the inception of the Meaningful Use programs in 2010.

On October 6, 2015 the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released final rules for Stage 3 Meaningful Use and other modifications to Meaningful Use for 2015-2017. CMS heard from physicians and other providers about the challenges and burdens they face making this technology work well for their individual practices and for their patients. In recognition of these concerns, the final regulations make significant changes to current requirements by easing the reporting burden for providers, supporting interoperability, and improving patient outcomes. The Missouri HIT Assistance Center encourages providers to review the changes and continue their progress towards achieving Meaningful Use.

Meaningful Use Stages

Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs) that are qualified for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program do not need to attest to meaningful use in their first year of participation, but must adopt, implement, or upgrade to an EHR to receive an incentive payment from the state of Missouri.

Eligible professionals and hospitals must become meaningful users of certified EHRs to qualify for incentive payments through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program administered by CMS.

The meaningful use criteria, objectives, and measures will continue to evolve in three stages over the next five years:

Stage 1 (2011-2012): Data Capture & Sharing
Stage 2 (2014): Advanced Clinical Processes
Stage 3 (2016): Improved Outcomes

Important Updates

Attestations for the 2015 program year will be accepted for all Eligible Hospitals, Eligible Professionals, and Critical Access Hospitals from January 4, 2016 through February 29, 2016.

2016 Eligible Hospital Reconsiderations Application Submission Period October 1,2015 - November 30, 2015
2015 CAH Hardship Application Submission Period January 1, 2016 - February 29, 2016
Attestation January 4, 2016 - February 29, 2016
2016 EP Reconsiderations Application Submission Period January 01, 2016 - February 29, 2016
2015 CAH Reconsideration Application Submission Period August 01, 2016 - September 30, 2016


Helpful Links

More details on how to achieve Meaningful Use can be found on the HealthIT.gov website.

EHR Success Stories

Here's a recap of some of the highlights in 2015! Read a holiday message from MU Health CEO & COO Mitch Wasden:

The devastating tornado that swept through Joplin, Missouri on May 22 completely destroyed a number of physician offices, including that of Tracy Godfrey, MD, a Family Practitioner with the Family Health Center of Joplin. But thanks to electronic health records, Godfrey had access to all of her patients' information, and in less than three days after the catastrophe, the practice was able to reopen its doors at a temporary location. More EHR Success Stories