Revenue Cycle

Meeting meaningful use criteria

Patient Access Weekly Advisor, February 3, 2010

The following article is adapted from HCPro’s resource for hospital case managers——a free blog dedicated to connecting hospital case managers to industry pacesetters, peers, and best practices.

On December 30, 2009, Congress announced the long-awaited proposed goals for health information technology. Congress, with support from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) outlined several goals for meaningful use. This concept is essential because eligible professionals (physicians, nonphysician providers, podiatrists, etc) and hospitals must adopt certified EHR technology and demonstrate meaningful use of that technology to qualify for monetary incentives.

Congress further requires that eligible professionals verify that EHR or EHR modules meet government certification criteria. Standardization ensures hospitals can finally communicate with each other, but closer examination of what this means to hospitals and healthcare providers who have some form of technology now is necessary.

If you are lucky enough to work in a setting that uses case management software and/or EHRs your institution must determine whether it will attempt to meet meaningful use criteria. Facilities that purchased software from a vendor (e.g., Allscripts, Cerner, or Epic) will find this easier to do. They can depend on their vendors for any necessary upgrades. If you aren’t sure whether your vendor plans to upgrade, consider changing to a vendor that has announced its intent to comply with standards. Check with your vendor to determine when it plans to obtain certification for its products.

The problem is more acute for providers that use ‘home-grown’ systems.

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