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September 1, 2015

The Meaning of “Meaningful Use”

How MEMOTEXT helps you achieve it

Posted on October 13, 2015 by Noah Nemoy

If you’re an American health care provider or are involved in digital health, odds are you’ve been hearing a lot about Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 3 in recent years. But what is it exactly? Why does it matter? And while we’re at it, what is MU Stages 1 and 2?

In 2009, the U.S. government passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The goal of HITECH is to promote the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and supporting technology, to reduce rising healthcare costs. Other countries have created national digital healthcare systems with impressive results. To encourage participation, healthcare providers receive financial reimbursements from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). MU is the standard for using EHR data that healthcare providers much adhere to in order to qualify. Despite being delivered through the CMS, over 80% of American healthcare providers treat Medicare patients so the vast majority are affected.

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Providers get reimbursed through enrolling in either the Medicare EHR Incentive Program ($44,000 over the following 5 consecutive years) or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program ($63,750 over the following 6 years). However, for every year a healthcare provider waits to enroll in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program they’ll receive a year’s less in reimbursements. Also, in 2015 the U.S. government started enacting penalties. Providers that don’t achieve MU will be penalized by a 1% reduction in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for every year of non-compliance. As such, the sooner healthcare providers achieve MU, the greater the incentives and fewer penalties they’ll receive.

To get providers accustomed to the program, MU was released in stages. Stage 1 began in 2010 to promote EHR adoption. Stage 2 debuted in 2012 and introduced engagement rules, EHR data use requirements, and increased compliance thresholds. To achieve MU Stage 2, healthcare providers must meet 3 out of 6 Menu Objectives and all 17 Core Objectives, and hospitals must meet 16 out of 17 Core Objectives and 3 of 6 Menu Objectives. Stage 3 had its proposed rules released last month, including stricter compliance and a U.S.-wide health information exchange. MU Stage 3 will be the farthest reaching stage, with most ridged requirements.

Fortunately, MEMOTEXT’s adherence solutions help healthcare providers both achieve MU and support its use. Check out the charts below to see how MEMOTEXT will help you adhere to Meaningful Use’s Core and Menu Objectives. After all, helping with your adherence is what MEMOTEXT is all about.

 

 

NOAH NEMOY M.Sc.
TEAM LEAD COMMUNICATIONS

noah

With an MSc in the Theory and History of International Relations from the London School of Economics, Noah brings several years of communications experience to MEMOTEXT. Prior to joining, he worked for the Government of Ontario, several small businesses, and most recently on the winning campaign in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election. As someone who loves communicating good ideas to help make the world a better place, Noah is thrilled to be a part of the MEMOTEXT team.