1.800.360.0603

GE Healthcare Camden Group Insights Blog

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Attestations May Drastically Drop in 2015

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 8, 2015 4:39:00 PM

Meaningful Use, MU, Attestation, Medical Practice Insider polled nearly 2,000 physicians to reveal that 55% do not plan to attest for meaningful use Stage 2 in 2015.

The questioning was simple yes/no question: Do you plan to attest for Stage 2 in 2015?

The answer? Doctors are planning to forego Stage 2 by a margin of 994 to 822 participants.

Status check: MU participants
About 75% of office-based primary care physicians had some form of EHR system in 2012, according to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Since the 2009 enactment of the HITECH Act, which established the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals, nearly two-thirds of physicians who implemented health IT tools said financial incentives and penalties were a major influence to adopt such systems.

EPs have been paid nearly $10 billion by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the meaningful use program to date. Only 3,655 unique Medicare EPs had received payments for Stage 2 attestation as of early December, however, compared to 268,686 EPs for Stage 1.

Individual comments from surveyed providers show a variety of reasons — some financially motivated, others not — for physicians deciding that they've had enough with the meaningful use program and will go no further.

"I did Stage 1 in years one and two, but it is almost impossible to do Stage 2. It requires patients to have emails and engage my EHR,” one cardiologist explained. “Well, I have a lot of patients in their 80s and 90s, and they don’t have computers, let alone email."

A family practitioner who CMS said was in the top 3 percent in terms of readiness and reporting is now at a crossroads.

"I’ve done Stage 1 three times now. I have the option to do either Stage 2 or Stage 1 for the fourth time. I would rather stay with Stage 1 for now because my patients are reluctant to use messaging and I personally do not like the interface for my portal,” the family practitioner noted. “I do not have too many Medicare patients even though I am participating in an ACO, so I am not concerned much about a penalty. I just want the software to be perfected and be more usable."

An internist echoed that last point about usability: "Every night there’s more chart work. I can’t find things in the patient chart easily, and it's hard to compare current and old EKS’s, current and old labs."

A rheumatologist, meanwhile, said that the administrative costs exceed any financial gains, meaningful use incentives and otherwise. “I am re-examining getting on an MU-certified EMR in 2015 as interoperability and eRx systems tend to mature and become more prevalent."

And then there’s the old-fashioned preference for paper.

"Because I don’t use an EMR, my work is easier, profits are better,” a gastroenterologist commented, “and I get my work done in 30 percent of the time it takes EMR-equipped hospital doctors."

It’s important to point out that the above comments are from specialists, a collective that often faces unique meaningful use challenges — particularly when it comes to core, menu and clinical quality measures engineered for providers with a broader swath of patients and services, making it easier to fulfill those requirements.

Topics: EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, Stage 2

CMS Releases New and Updated FAQs for the EHR Incentive Programs

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 24, 2014 11:10:00 AM

EHR, EMR, CMS, Meaningful UseTo keep you updated with information on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, CMS recently added one new FAQ and updated seven FAQs to the CMS FAQ system. We encourage you to stay informed by taking a few minutes to review the new information below.

 

New FAQ:

  1. For Measure 2 of the Stage 2 Summary of Care objective for the EHR Incentive Programs, may an eligible professional,  eligible hospital, or critical access hospital count a transition of care or referral in its numerator for the measure if they electronically create and send a summary of care document using their CEHRT to a third party organization that plays a role in determining the next provider of care and ultimately delivers the summary of care document? Read the answer.

Updated FAQs:

  1. If my practice does not typically collect information on any of the core, alternate core, and additional clinical quality measures (CQMs) listed in the Final Rule on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, do I need to report on CQMs for which I do not have any data? Read the answer.
  2. Can eligible professionals use CQMs from the alternate core set to meet the requirement of reporting three additional measures for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs? Read the answer.
  3. If one of the measures for the core set of CQMs for eligible professionals is not applicable for my patient population, am I excluded from reporting that measure for the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs? Read the answer.
  4. If none of the core, alternate core, or additional clinical quality measures adopted for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs apply, am I exempt from reporting on all CQMs? Read the answer.
  5. If the denominators for all three of the core CQM are zero, do I have to report on the additional CQMs for eligible professionals under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs? Read the answer.
  6. For the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, if the certified EHR technology possessed by an eligible professional generates zero denominators for all CQMs in the additional set that it can calculate, is the eligible professional responsible for determining whether they have zero denominators or data for any remaining CQMs in the additional set that their certified EHR technology is not capable of calculating? Read the answer.
  7. I am an eligible professional who has successfully attested for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, so why haven't I received my incentive payment yet? Read the answer.
Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Make sure to visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

Topics: EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, Electronic Health Records, CMS, HIT, Health IT

October 3 is Last Day for 1st-year Medicare EPs to Begin a 2014 Reporting Period

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 16, 2014 11:58:00 AM

Deadline, EHR, EMR, The last day to begin a 2014 reporting period for first-year Medicare eligible professionals is October 3rd.

Here are a few key points eligible professionals who have not yet started participation in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program should know.

Earning Incentives

  • October 3rd is the last day to start the 90-day reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. 
  • If you start participation by October 3, you will have the opportunity to receive an incentive for 2014, and if you continue to achieve meaningful use, can earn incentive payments for 2015 and 2016 participation.  
  • If you wait and start participation in 2015, you will not be eligible to receive incentive payments, but can avoid payment adjustments.

Avoiding Adjustments

  • You will not avoid the payment adjustment in 2015, as you will not be able to attest to 90 days of data by October 1, 2014.
  • If you applied for a 2015 hardship exception by July 1, 2014, you may avoid the payment adjustment.
  • If you attest to 2014 data by February 28, 2015, you will avoid the 2016 payment adjustment.

Medicare eligible professionals must attest to demonstrating meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a payment adjustment.

For More Information

To learn more about other eHealth events and National Health IT Week, visit the CMS Events page on the eHealth website. For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, visit the CMS EHR website.

Topics: EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Records, Medicare, CMS, HIT, Health IT

CMS Releases Final Rule for Participants in EHR Incentive Programs

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 2, 2014 2:16:00 PM

EHR Incentive Program, Meaningful UseOn Friday, August 29, CMS released a final rule that allows providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to use the 2011 Edition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for calendar and fiscal year 2014. 

The rule grants flexibility to providers who are unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014 due to delays in 2014 CEHRT availability. Providers may now use EHRs that have been certified under the 2011 Edition, a combination of the 2011 and 2014 Editions, or the 2014 Edition for 2014 participation.

Under the modified attestation schedule, providers that were not able to fully implement 2014 Edition certified EHR technology in time to successfully attest to meaningful use due to vendor delays will be able to use 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition to attest to either stage 1 or stage 2. Providers will also be able to attest to meaningful use under the 2013 reporting year definition and use 2013's clinical quality measures.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives has supported giving providers more options for attesting in what has been a challenging year for CIOs. However, the organization was disappointed the rule will still require a full year of attestation in 2015.

"Roughly 50 percent of eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals were scheduled to meet stage 2 requirements this year and nearly 85 percent of EHs and CAHs will be required to meet stage 2 requirements in 2015,” said CHIME CEO Russ Branzell in a statement. “Most hospitals that take advantage of new pathways made possible through this final rule will not be in a position to meet stage 2 requirements beginning Oct. 1, 2014. This means that penalties avoided in 2014 will come in 2015, and millions of dollars will be lost due to misguided government timelines.”

Beginning in 2015, all eligible providers will be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT.

2014 Participation Options

Under the rule, providers are able to use 2011 Edition CEHRT, and have the option to attest to the 2013 Stage 1 meaningful use objectives and the 2013 definition CQMs.

2011 CEHRT

Providers scheduled to meet Stage 1 or Stage 2:

Combination of 2011 & 2014 CEHRT

Providers scheduled to meet Stage 1:

Providers scheduled to meet Stage 2:

  • 2013 Stage 1 objectives and 2013 CQMs; or
  • 2014 Stage 1 objectives and 2014 CQMs; or
  • 2014 Stage 2 objectives and 2014 CQMs

2014 CEHRT

Providers scheduled to meet Stage 1:

  • 2014 Stage 1 objectives and 2014 CQMs

Providers scheduled to meet Stage 2:

  • 2014 Stage 1 objectives and 2014 CQMs; or
  • 2014 Stage 2 objectives and 2014 CQMs

CEHRT Flexibility Resources

To help the public understand the final rule’s changes to 2014 participation, CMS has developed the following resources:

  • CEHRT Interactive Decision Tool – providers answer a few questions about their current stage of meaningful use and Edition of EHR certification, and the tool displays the corresponding 2014 options.
  • 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Chart – chart provides a visual overview of CEHRT participation options for 2014.
  • 2014 CEHRT Rule Quick Guide – guide provides corresponding resources based on the option a provider chooses to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs in 2014.

Extending Stage 2

The rule also finalizes CMS and ONC’s recommended timeline to extend Stage 2 through 2016. The earliest a provider can participate in Stage 3 of meaningful use is now 2017.

For More Information

Visit the CMS Newsroom to read the press release about the final rule. For more EHR Incentive Programs resources, visit the CMS EHR website.

 

Topics: EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, Electronic Health Records, CMS, HIT, Health IT, Provider, Final Rule

New CMS FAQs for the EHR Incentive Program Now Available

Posted by Matthew Smith on Aug 26, 2014 4:58:00 PM

CMS, EHR, EMRTo keep you updated with information on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, CMS has recently added three new FAQs to the CMS FAQ system. We encourage you to stay informed by taking a few minutes to review the new information below.

New FAQs:

  1. For the certification criteria that providers must have in place to meet the Clinical Decision Support (CDS) objective, what type of interventions must the EHR technology trigger to meet the criteria? For this and for the Eligible Provider and Eligible Hospital Core Measures related to the Objective “use clinical decision support to improve performance on high-priority health conditions,” are “pop-up” alerts the only type of intervention that a provider can use to meet the CDS objective? Read the answer.
  2. I am an eligible professional. What should I do if my patients don’t have broadband access? Read the answer.
  3. In the inpatient setting, when providing patient data to satisfy the Summary of Care and View Online, Download, and Transmit objectives, does a hospital have to provide two different documents for patients and providers? Read the answer.
Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Make sure to visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

Topics: EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Records, CMS, HIT, Health IT

Infographic: A Look at the Emerging Nashville EHR Market

Posted by Matthew Smith on Aug 12, 2014 2:47:00 PM

Nashville, EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, HCAAs one of the fastest growing healthcare markets in the United States, Nashville is home to the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) with has 194,000 global employees and $34 billion in annual revenue. Technology Advice surveyed over 250 Nashville practices to look for EHR trends in this emerging market.

Some of the most interesting findings iinclude:

  • Epic, the number one national electronic health record vendor, does not rank among the top five vendors in Nashville
  • Nashville healthcare providers are significantly more satisfied with their EHR programs than providers nationwide
  • 16% of providers in Nashville have already switched EHRs
  • Adoption rate among certain specialties is significantly higher than national averages
  • Cost appears to be the number one consideration for Nashville EHR buyers

They also put out the Nashville EHR market infographic below. Most interesting is the percentages and how the EHR market is still very diverse. 

Nashville EHR Market Infographic resized 600

 

Topics: EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, Electronic Health Records, Medicare, CMS, Nashville

Infographic: Electronic Health Records & the Data of Health Care

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jun 24, 2014 12:54:00 PM

EHR, EMR, Electronic Medical Record, Electronic Health Record, InfographicThis “Electronic Health Records & the Data of Health Care” infographic from UC Berkley School of Information explores the health data revolution, the difference between Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records, which states and practices adopted electronic systems, and what the future of the digital health industry looks like. 

For a larger look at this infographic, please click here and then click the image to enlarge.

EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Record, HIE

 

Meaningful Use, Stage 1, Stage 2, EHR, EMR

Topics: EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, Infographic

Infographic: Is Meaningful Use Helping or Hurting EHR Adoption?

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jun 3, 2014 3:25:00 PM

Meaningful Use, EHR, EMRWhen the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched their EHR Incentive Programs back in January 2011, the main goal was to reward healthcare practitioners for adopting electronic health records and increasing efficiency within their practice. But one question stood out: Have the incentives actually encouraged EHR adoption? 

NueMD compiled research from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CMS, and the American College of Physicians (ACP) looking to identify adoption trends and determine potential obstacles to successful implementation. Their findings are shown in the following infographic:

Meaningful Use, EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Records

 

Meaningful Use, Stage 1, Stage 2, EHR, EMR

 

Topics: EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, Electronic Health Records, Medicare, CMS

EHR Incentive Program Penalties Visualized

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 19, 2014 9:59:00 AM

EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Record, Meaningful UseAs part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Congress mandated payment adjustments to be applied to Medicare eligible professionals who are not meaningful users of Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology under the Medicare EHR Incentive Programs. These payment adjustments will be applied beginning on January 1, 2015, for Medicare eligible professionals. Medicaid eligible professionals who can only participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and do not bill Medicare are not subject to these payment adjustments.

Eligible professionals who can participate in either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs will be subject to the payment adjustments unless they are meaningful users under one of the EHR Incentive Programs in the time periods specified below.

EMR-penalties

 

Meaningful Use, Stage 1, Stage 2, EHR, EMR

Topics: EHR, EMR, Meaningful Use, Electronic Health Records, Electronic Medical Records, Medicare EHR Incentive Program, EHR Penalty

Free Webinar: Implementing Quality-Based Programs in a Medical Practice

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 28, 2014 4:47:00 PM

Health Directions, Webinar

When:

Wednesday January 29, 2014

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (CST)

Beginning this year, the reporting of clinical quality measures (CQMs) has changed for all providers participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.

All providers will be required to report CQMs, based on the new criteria, in order to demonstrate Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

Target Audiences:

  • Providers
  • Physician Office Practice Managers
  • Nurses
  • Quality Improvement Staff
  • Health IT Personnel

Agenda:

This webinar will:

  • Provide information on Clinical Quality Measuresto facilitate reporting quality data reporting for Meaningful Use and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) programs
  • Use a case study to demonstrate how to implement a quality-based program

Presenters:

Lucy Zielinski, CCSP, Vice President of Health Directions, LLC

Zielinski has more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of practice management, population health management, clinical integration, physician alignment, PQRS and PCMH initiatives. She has a broad background in practice management and is well recognized for her ability to assist physicians in making and executing complex business decisions. She has in-depth knowledge of all aspects of practice management from business operations to quality programs.

Cindy Barrett, LPN, Senior Associate of Health Directions, LLC

With more than 30 years of clinical experience in the ambulatory environment, Barrett collaborates with EMR implementation support teams to facilitate and build process, workflows, post-implementation support and optimization as it applies to the EMR module. She is recognized for her expertise in EMR clinical workflow analyses, technical EMR system builds, training oversight, and practice support during pre-implementation, implementation, go-live and post go-live. Additionally, Barrett works with health care teams on several quality reporting programs, including Meaningful Use, PQRS and PCMH initiatives.

Register

Topics: EHR, Electronic Health Records, Health Directions, CQM, Webinar, Telligen, Lucy Zielinski, Cindy Barrett

Subscribe to Email Updates

Value Model, Health Analytics

Posts by Topic

Follow Me