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How to Apply for Meaningful Use

If you are an eligible hospital or eligible professional then meaningful use incentives and qualifying for them is likely top on your mind. If you are a vendor of EHR technology you have been working to get your software certified for meaningful use so your customers can qualify for the incentives.

Many organizations are in the midst of a tremendous amount of work to meet meaningful use and qualify for the incentives.   Based on our conversations most organizations have not yet applied, and are not clear how the actual application process will work.  For example: Will they need supporting documentation? What kind of output is needed from the HIPAA Risk Analysis? I thought it would be useful to provide a high level walk through of what to expect when you actually go through the registration/attestation process.  If your organization hasn’t applied yet, this will give you a sense of what is going to be required when you do. We will look at the process for eligible hospitals, but the process is similar for eligible professionals.

  • Preparation:
    • Actually applying means that you have already done the hard work of meeting the meaningful use requirements. Most organizations are in the midst of this process right now. This includes:
    • Using certified EHR technology – The vendor needs to have gotten their EHR solution certified to meet meaningful use. The list of certified vendors/products is available here: http://onc-chpl.force.com/ehrcert
    • Configuring the chosen EHR technology to meet the meaningful use criteria and ensuring that the implementation adequately secures ePHI.
    • Performing a HIPAA Risk Analysis during this process.

The actual application process is broken up into two parts.  The first is Registration, which has been available since January 3, 2011.  Second is Attestation, which has been available since April 18, 2011.

  • Registration
  • Attestation
    • You will need the CMS EHR Certification ID for your implemented EHR. This is available from: http://onc-chpl.force.com/ehrcert
    • Enter the EHR Certificate ID for your EHR technology and select the start and end dates for the reporting period.
    • For each of the core objectives where no exclusion applies you will enter the numbers of patients the objective applied to and the number that met the core objective. For example 100 patients requested electronic copies of their discharge instructions, and they were provided to 99.  So 99% met core objective 12 during the reporting period.  Complete this process for the Core Measures, Menu Measures and Clinical Quality Measures.

You are attesting to the implementation and data is not required to be submitted during the attestation process.  Although you will need to keep supporting data for six years in case of an audit.

If you meet all the criteria you can submit the attestation.  Congratulations!  You are now officially a “meaningful user”.

For more information see:

CMS Registration Site

CMS Video Tutorial

You can do a test run to ensure that you meet the necessary objectives:

Meaningful Use Calculator

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