HHS Gives Meaning to “Meaningful Use”
July 13, 2010
Health IT, Policy Implementation
On July 13th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule which defines the criteria that hospitals and other providers must meet in order to receive funding for the adoption of electronic health records (EHR). As part of the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act of 2009 (ARRA), $27 billion dollars was set aside to help providers transition from paper records toward making “meaningful use” of EHR. The final rule, which clarifies the definition of “meaningful use” that will be used to determine which providers qualify for the ARRA funding, sets a series of benchmarks for 2011 and 2012 that providers must meet with regard to the adoption of their EHR system, such as issuing 40 percent of their prescriptions through their EHR system. The final rule tweaks a previously proposed rule issued by HHS that had been criticized for being too inflexible and unrealistic in the benchmarks it set. The goal of the final rule, according to HHS, is to get as many providers and hospitals on the “rising escalator” of transitioning to EHR, which would significantly lessen the administrative burdens borne by many providers, and increase the overall efficiency and cost effectiveness of America’s health system.
To help providers understand the new EHR rule and how to apply for available funding, a new website was launched by AmericanEHR Partners, which was founded by the American College of Physicians and brings together a number of medical societies and EHR vendor organizations. The website is intended to function as a collaborative space for providers to help each other navigate the growing EHR field.
Click here to read the HHS press release on the final rule.
Click here to access the new website by AmericanEHR Partners.
Click here to access NCHC’s white paper which highlights the importance of implementing EHR utilization.
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