The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology to improve patient care. To receive an EHR incentive payment, providers have to show that they are “meaningfully using” their EHRs by meeting thresholds for a number of objectives. CMS has established the objectives for “meaningful use” that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to receive an incentive payment.
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are staged in three stages with increasing requirements for participation. Eligible professionals participate in the program on the calendar years, while eligible hospitals and CAHs participate according to the federal fiscal year.
Providers must attest to demonstrating meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a Medicare payment adjustment. View the My EHR Participation Timeline to determine which year to demonstrate each stage of meaningful use.
What are the requirements for Stage 1 of Meaningful Use?
Meaningful use includes both a core set and a menu set of objectives that are specific to eligible professionals or eligible hospitals and CAHs.For eligible professionals, there are a total of 22 meaningful use objectives. To qualify for an incentive payment, 18 of these 22 objectives must be met:
- 13 required core objectives
- 5 objectives chosen from a list of 9 menu set objectives.
For eligible hospitals and CAHs, there are a total of 22 meaningful use objectives. To qualify for an incentive payment, 18 of these 22 objectives must be met:
- 11 required core objectives
- 5 objectives chosen from a list of 10 menu set objectives.
CMS provides Meaningful Use Specification Sheets detail each objective to help you understand what you need to do to meet the program requirements. Each specification sheet covers a single core or menu set objective in detail. The specification sheets are available in the Downloads section below. including information on:
What are the requirements for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use?
For detailed information about the Stage 2 requirements of meaningful use for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs, visit our Stage 2 page. Please note, however, that you would not begin Stage 2 until you have participated in Stage 1 for at least two years, depending on when you began participation in the programs.
Reporting on Clinical Quality Measures?
In addition to meeting the core and menu objectives, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs are also required to report clinical quality measures (CQMs).
In 2014, all providers, regardless of whether they are in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of meaningful use, will be required to report on the 2014 CQMs finalized in the Stage 2 rule:
- Eligible professionals report 9 measures
- Eligible hospitals and CAHs report 16 measures
To learn more about individual CQMs measures for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs, visit the Clinical Quality Measures page.
- Eligible Professional Stage 1 Specification Sheets 2013 08 20 [ZIP, 4MB]
- Stage 1 Eligible Professional Meaningful Use Table of Contents [PDF, 114KB]
- Stage 1 Eligible Professional Attestation Worksheet [PDF, 743KB]
- Eligible Hospital Stage 1 Specification Sheets 2013 8 20 [ZIP, 4MB]
- Stage 1 Eligible Hospital and CAH Meaningful Use Table of Contents [PDF, 112KB]
- Stage 1 Eligible Hospital Attestation Worksheet [PDF, 534KB]
- CAH Payment Tip Sheet [PDF, 188KB]
- Security Risk Assessment Fact Sheet_Updated 2013-11-22 [PDF, 474KB]
- Guide for Eligible Professionals Practicing in Multiple Locations [PDF, 542KB]
- Page last Modified: 04/15/2014 12:45 PM
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