What is Meaningful Use?
As part of the HITECH Act of 2009 the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare established certain criteria known as “meaningful use.” Providers have to meet this criteria in order to be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.
HITECH was primarily enacted in order to promote digitizing healthcare records. The requirements are in place to certify that EHR technology is used effectively and efficiently.
There are 3 stages associated with meaningful use:
- Stage 1 is focused on capturing and having the ability to share data with patients or other healthcare providers.
- Stage 2 has two objectives; one is to promote exchanges between healthcare providers and the other is to give patients the ability to securely access their medical records online.
- Stage 3 is in revision, but the goal is to continue to expand meaningful use and improve patient outcomes.
How to comply with meaningful use:
To comply with meaningful use criteria a process needs to be in place to get paper records into an EHR. Document scanning is one way to do that. Once an EHR platform is in place, getting new and existing records into the system electronically is part of an ongoing process. Many providers have already implemented an EHR platform, but still need to get existing records into the system, as well as new paper documents that come in, such as invoices or images. Some EHR platforms provide a simple document capturing add-on, but many have found that it isn’t comprehensive enough to meet the requirements of meaningful use. Click here to read about how providers are using our partner’s add-on software to complement their EHR platform.
Other key elements to comply with meaningful use are: keep track of documents, control who has access to documents, and send and access records in a secure manner. Audit reports will require an office to locate important documents quickly and securely.
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