To the chagrin of listeners during a June 2012 National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) webinar on how to achieve meaningful use stage 1, Robert Anthony, health insurance specialist in the Office of E-Health Standards and Services of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), evaded questions pertaining to meaningful use stage 2.
While a peek into stage 2 beyond just the proposed rule would be exciting, Anthony held his ground in repeating that he was unable to comment until the official release. That aside, Anthony offered the following thoughts and considerations about stage 1:
– Meaningful use should be viewed as a three three-part process. First and foremost, adopting a certified electronic health record (EHR) system is required to record data elements. Second, EHRs will advance clinical processes and, lastly, using data from the systems will lead to better health outcomes.
– Regardless of a practice planning to attest, registration is advised to get a sense of differences between Medicare attestation (completed via CMS website) and Medicaid (completed via state website) attestation.
– Eligible providers that have not attested for meaningful use stage 1 are not necessarily behind the ball. The reason for that, said Anthony, is because the first year for meaningful use reporting is 90 consecutive days — meaning there is still time. For eligible hospitals, it is 90 consecutive days within the federal fiscal year.
– Providing patients with clinical summaries cannot be done via standard mail, which is a method some organizations attempt. It must be done electronically, handed to patient post visit or, in some cases, put on a compact disc or USB drive.
– Rejection notifications during attestation, which will pop up in red messages, are likely to occur for certain measures after hitting submit. This could happen for many reasons, but providers are urged to check the numerator and denominator figures and review why they did not meet the meaningful use threshold.