November 18, 2010
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has been out and about promoting the fact that specialists can meet requirements for the “meaningful use” incentive payment program by taking advantage of exceptions in the final rule.
At a recent meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmologists, David Blumenthal, MD, national coordinator of health information technology for the Department of Health and Human Services, pointed to exceptions to the meaningful use final rule that can enable specialists to qualify for incentive funds.
These exceptions were put in place because some meaningful use objectives are not applicable to every provider’s practice. As a result, when choosing which of the “menu item” objectives to focus on, those that are not applicable to that specialty are counted as meeting meaningful use requirements. For example, dentists do not perform immunizations. Therefore, under the exceptions rule, a dentist who is an eligible provider would be recorded as meeting the meaningful use of the menu item “Immunization Data to Registries.” Chiropractors would be noted as having met the e-prescribing requirement by virtue of the fact that they do not engage in e-prescribing.
To date, the ONC has not issued a formal statement for specialists aiming to meet the standards. However, Blumenthal has spoken publically a number of times stating that specialists could claim exceptions to rules that do not apply to them and that claiming exceptions is acceptable to meeting the requirement.
Specialists who would like to be eligible for meaningful use incentive money can look to DrFirst’s EMR/EHR Partners – over 130 strong – who can provide them with the right health IT to meet the unique needs of their practice and specialty. Click here to view our Partners list.