Experienced medical practice administrators, like Debra Oselett of Rochester Hills, Michigan, must be familiar with the Meaningful Use program, which was instituted as part of the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). This program allows health care providers to show meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR), which in turn earns incentive payments for eligible providers.
The Meaningful Use program has been instituted to encourage the adoption of electronic health care records systems to create a widespread system that provides top safety, quality, and efficiency of health care in America. In order to be entitled to incentive payments, providers must do more than just adopt an electronic health records system; they must also prove the meaningful use of the system by meeting a certain number of objectives established by the HITECH Act. These incentive payments can range from $44,000 to $63,750 for Medicaid-directed meaningful use programs. Medical providers who do not adopt an electronic health record system and document meaningful use will receive less than 100% of their Medicare fee schedule for their services.
The EHR program applies to various medical statutes, one of which is Medicare. Using the Medicare Meaningful Use Incentive program will grant those monetary incentives to medical providers who have an EHR in place and have proof of meaningful use. That proof spans a range of thresholds for multiple objectives that can positively impact patient care. Those medical providers can earn up to $44,000 in incentives from the Medicare Meaningful Use program by meeting Medicare’s established criteria for five consecutive years. This program was implemented to help encourage high-quality medical practice. The EHR program have been shown to have a positive impact on the medical field, which is why so many steps have been taken to encourage it. In 2015, Medicare began penalizing those medical providers who had not implemented an EHR system by reducing those providers’ Medicare reimbursements.
The Medicare Meaningful Use program considers the following as qualified for the EHR incentive: chiropractors, doctors of dental medicine and dental surgery, doctors of podiatric medicine, doctors of optometry, and doctors of medicine or osteopathy. This incentive program is not extended to most hospital-based providers, which are those providers with 90% or more of their services based in emergency or hospital inpatient settings. The exceptions to this rule are hospitals that are Medicare Advantage affiliated hospitals, subsection d hospitals, and critical access hospitals.
Debra Oselett and other prominent, skilled medical practice directors and administrators have a thorough knowledge of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and especially the Medicare component and guidelines associated with it. An administrator’s familiarity with this act and its accompanying incentives can save the medical office significant amounts of money.