Health Information Management

Find out what meaningful use means for you now

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 2, 2010

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On December 30, 2009, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology published the interim final rule for EHR certification standards, and on January 13, CMS issued the proposed rule on the EHR Meaningful Use Incentive Program and meaningful use standards in the Federal Register.
The interim final rule outlines standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology, and the proposed rule solicits comments on the incentive payments and meaningful use requirements. Another rule proposing the EHR certification process and organizations designated to conduct EHR certification is also expected to be released early this year.
But with incentive payments set to begin in October for hospitals and in January 2011 for physicians, waiting for the release of final rules before worrying about meaningful use standards may not be wise—especially for those hoping to take advantage of the early incentives.
“Despite the fact that there may be some changes, it is time to move forward with enhancements to your information systems that make sense for your organization,” says Margret Amatayakul, RHIA, CHPS, CPHIT, CPEHR, FHIMSS, president of Margret\A Consulting in Schaumburg, IL.
So what can you do now to prepare? Much of this depends on how fully you have implemented your EHR and the functionality of the EHR you implemented. 
Note: For more information, visit the HCPro Web site. Subscribers to Medical Records Briefing have access to this article in the March issue of the newsletter.

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