Welcome back to Part II of our two-part series on “The Challenges of Meaningful Use.” Please click here for Part I if you haven’t had a chance to read it. Since a fully detailed explanation of every essential related to Meaningful Use requires a small book, we managed to distill the very basics of what you would need to know for Meaningful Use Stage II.
Moving on from what we already covered, eligible physicians must demonstrate the requirements for Meaningful Use Stage I for two consecutive years before progressing to Meaningful Use Stage II. However, if they complied with Meaningful Use Stage I from 2011 to 2013, they wouldn’t have been eligible for Stage II in the 2013 calendar year. Due to delays, eligible physicians were only able to demonstrate Meaningful Use Stage II starting in the 2014 calendar year.
Stage II raises the bar and builds on the requirements for Stage I, but the transition to Stage II should be relatively smooth if the eligible physician has truly implemented Stage I’s core objectives and measures.
In order to meet the requirements for Meaningful Use Stage II, eligible physicians must meet:
- 17 core objectives
- 3 for a total of 6 menu objectives
- a total of 20 objectives.
The 17 core objectives:
1. Use EMR/EHR software to enter, change, and monitor orders for medication, laboratory, radiology/imaging, and other auxiliary services.
2. Write and transmit prescriptions for medications electronically.
3. Generate an electronic record of the demographics related to the patient, including preferred language, sex, race, ethnicity, and birth date.
4. Employ Electronic Health Records to enter, change, and access the patient’s vital signs, such as the patient’s height, weight, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index (BMI). Generation of growth charts is optional.
5. Record if a patient (13 years or older) is a smoker or non-smoker.
6. Refer to EHR software in order to learn intelligently categorized and organized data related to the patient for enhanced patient healthcare.
7. Uses EHR software to make patients’ medical records securely available to them online. Patients must be able to view, download and transmit their health information to third parties as necessary.
8. Generate a clinical summary for each patient at every visit. The clinical summary should include the patient’s name; the reason for the visit; current problem, medication, and medication allergy lists; clinical treatment for the visit; and more. (For a full list of what a clinical summary has to comprise of in order to meet Meaningful Use Stage II, click here.)
9. The physician must ensure that electronic health records in his/her care are 100% secure and regularly updated.
10. Input clinical lab-test results using EHR technology.
11. Must be able to create, sort, and access patient lists based one or a combination of these categories: problems, medications, medication allergies, demographics, and lab tests/results. Patient lists could be considered valuable data for improved quality care, research, and outreach.
12. Utilize EHR software to discover patients who need reminders for pre-emptive/follow-up care and send those reminders according to how patients prefer to receive them (i.e. email, texts, phone calls, etc.)
13. Utilize EHR software to find specific educational resources for patients and then send those relevant educational tools to patients. For example, if a patient was treated for bronchitis, then the healthcare provider would find resources pertaining to the treatment and prevention of bronchitis for that patient.
14. If a physician receives a patient from another healthcare facility, a medical reconciliation must be done on that patient. Thus, the physician must discover and record all of the medications (name, dosage, frequency, and route) a patient current takes and compare it to an external record of medications from the patient, previous healthcare professional, or hospital.
15. If the physician refers a patient to another healthcare provider, or if the patient simply transitions into the care of another doctor/healthcare facility, that physician must send a summary care record for the patient to doctor/healthcare facility currently treating the patient.
16. Send health data electronically to immunization registries or immunization information systems as dictated by laws pertaining to the specialty practice and its location.
17. Employ secure means of electronic messaging with patients.
The 6 menu objectives:
1. Use EHR technology to generate syndrome-based information for public health agencies – as dictated by laws pertaining to the specialty practice and location.
2. Record electronic progress notes (updates) in the patient’s health record.
3. Incorporate a patient’s radiographic images and relevant explanations of those images into the electronic record, so that date can be viewed and accessed through EHR.
4. Record the patient’s family health history.
5. Diagnose and report cancer cases to the public health central cancer registry.
6. Diagnose and report specific medical cases to specialized public health registries (other than the cancer registry).
CMS Payment Penalties
Healthcare professionals who are eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program but don’t participate in Meaningful Use will begin to receive payment reductions in their Physician’s Medicare Fee Schedule starting in 2015. A payment reduction equates to a certain percentage off the Physician’s Medicare Fee Schedule. It works like this:
- 2015: - 1%
- 2016: -2%
- 2017: -3%
CMS will utilize its investigative resources to pinpoint those eligible healthcare providers who will receive pay adjustments in 2015 based on applicable data from the previous several years. Payment adjustments may go up to as high as 5% if the U.S Department of Health and Human Services finds that there are less than 75% of meaningful users worldwide after 2018.
PracticeForces can facilitate your compliance to Meaninful Use Stage I and transition into Stage II.
A 100% secure and up-to-date EMR/EHR software solution is paramount to your Meaningful Use compliance. To that end, PracticeForces offers incredibly user-friendly, web-based EHR software that will fulfil your Meaningful Use needs. Let us help you in your implementation of Meaningful Use. Call us at 866-634-6327 now!