DrFirst Healthcare Technology Blog

MU 101: Intro to “Meaningful Use”

September 1, 2010

Our nation’s healthcare system is undergoing a massive transformation to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care.  To catalyze this transformation CMS has create the ARRA HITECH incentive program for eligible Medicare and Medicaid providers who demonstrate ‘meaningful use’.

These providers will not only reap benefits from the financial payments, but will see a reduction in errors, higher availability of records and data, new reminders and alerts, and unprecedented clinical support and electronic prescribing capabilities.

Beginning next year, eligible physicians who see Medicare and/or Medicaid patients will be compensated from $44,000 to $65,000 over a 5 year term for fulfilling the recently defined ‘meaningful use’ criteria.  To further promote the use of certified systems, if these same physicians do not utilize healthcare IT that meets the Federal requirement by 2015, they will be faced with increasing penalties of up to 5%.

One very important part of these incentives is the ability for providers to implement individual certified modules that when used together, meet the meaningful use criteria.  Many doctors believe that a paperless EHR is the only way to reach meaningful use, but it is important for them to realize that they have options to use modular systems to achieve the requirements!

Stayed tuned to our blog as we dissect the upcoming Meaningful Use incentives – see below for a schedule of topics to come:

  • Part 1: Medicare
    • What is required and how do I get paid?
    • Who is eligible?
    • How hard is it to meet?
  • Part 2: Medicaid
    • State specific requirements
  • What does Modular Approach Mean?
  • What is a Patient Registry?
  • What is Attestation?
  • Checklist for Meeting MU: What are the 15 components and 5 (10) Menu items?
  • Should you go paperless or not? Is your office ready?
  • Questions you should ask your EMR?
  • What’s in a guarantee for MU?
  • Who are the certification bodies?
  • What is expected for stage 2?
  • MU 101: Final Review
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About the Author

Irene Froehlich

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

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