Definition

meaningful use stage 1

Meaningful use stage 1 is the first phase of the United States federal government's meaningful use incentive program, which details the requirements for the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems by hospitals and eligible health care professionals.

The list of criteria and regulations was established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT  (ONC) in July 2010.

Consisting of 25 total criteria, the list for meaningful use stage 1 is broken into 15 core requirements and 10 menu requirements. All core requirements are mandatory, while health care providers can choose five of the 10 menu requirements to meet. 

Within the confines of meaningful use stage 1, all eligible parties must adopt an EHR that meets the listed criteria by the end of 2014 in order to be eligible for government incentives. In order to receive the maximum incentive, providers must have achieved meaningful use for at least 90 days by the end of the 2012 federal fiscal year (September 30, 2012).

See also: meaningful use stage 2, meaningful use stage 3, EHR implementation plan

This was last updated in February 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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