What is the difference between ARRA (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) and HITECH Act?
The HITECH Act is a subset of the ARRA. It is also known as Title XIII. It provides for “Eligible professionals” to be paid for demonstrating use of a “qualified electronic health record” in a “meaningful manner”.
Can I receive incentives under multiple programs (PQRI, eRx and Electronic Health Records) at the same time?
Under the Medicare version of the EHR program, providers can still receive PQRI payments provided they continue to meet the program requirements. The rules for the Medicaid version are different.
Is buying or having a certified EMR enough?
Achieving Meaningful Use is about more than just selecting the right product – like Centricity EMR, it is about how your practice can accomplish these types of measures to achieve the clinical transformation necessary to improve healthcare through the effective use of technology.
Are all GE EMR/EHR products certified?
As of April 2010, most of the Meaningful Use criteria are met in current commercially released versions of Centricity EMR and Centricity Practice Solution. According to GE, 100% of Meaningful Use criteria will be met with next released versions in 2H 2010.
Why is MQIC required for Meaningful Use?
MQIC is a data gathering repository conforming to security standards and HIPAA guidelines. This tool allows the ability to streamline the data gathering process for reporting meaningful use objective and measure information from your EMR data.
How do I enroll for MQIC?
Enrollment process information and forms can be found at the following link:
Do I need a Patient Portal? Where can I buy one?
Patient Portals are designed to provide patients with secure access to their healthcare records, over the Internet. A Patient Portal can greatly help you meet MU Core and Menu criteria. Alliance works with several Patient Portal vendors whose products work well with GE Centricity solutions.
Can I simply choose not to participate?
Yes. But beginning in 2015, Medicare providers who do not participate will receive reduced reimbursements of -1% to -5%.
When could I begin to receive payments under the program?
The earliest possible payment would be after reporting on the 90-day period beginning January 1, 2011. For most practices however, it will be somewhat later than that based on the availability and implementation of their “qualified EHR” product.
What is “attestation”?
In the first year of the program, participants are required to attest that they are meeting program requirements (during one consecutive 90-day period), without submitting statistical reports. In subsequent years, electronic reporting of quality metrics will also be required.
When is the “deadline” to participate?
There are several deadlines depending on whether you will participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive program. For the Medicare version, your first year of participation must be before 2015. Payment adjustments (reductions) will begin in 2015 for those who cannot demonstrate MU of certified EHR technology.
The best strategy is to begin your preparations now, but in any case, begin your first year’s reporting period no later than October 1, 2011.
Internal Useful Links
For Meaningful Use Criteria, visit our Meaningful Use Criteria Page.
For Meaningful Use Frequently Asked Questions, visit our Meaningful Use FAQ Page.
External Useful Links
Helpful “Tip Sheet” from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (www.cms.gov)
Medicare Incentive Payments Tip Sheet (PDF)
Direct link to the official Web site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
GE Healthcare Links
GE Healthcare’s Meaningful Use document referencing setup parameters and workflow recommendations for each Meaningful Use measure.
Using Centricity Practice Solution Meaningful Use Reports
Additional information about the Meaningful Use criteria can be found at this official web page: