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Preparation for Stage 1 MU


Be sure to watch this eight video explaining three common challenges to achieving Stage 1 Meaningful Use. For best viewing, click to hide the far left column (in black, if it is showing), then click "Full Screen" on the far right.

Preparing to achieve meaningful use begins with understanding the guidelines and expectations for meeting the meaningful use (MU) criteria and using certified EHR technology (CEHRT).

Understanding the Basics

  • 10095: examining numerators and denominators
  • 10151: affirming "no exclusion" means no exclusion
  • 10664: defining "seen by the EP"
  • 10076:  having each EP demonstrate the full requirements of meaningful use
  • 10589:  delineating the statements that EPs verify when they attest

The CMS FAQs above describe the basic tenets of meaningful use: each EP achieves meaningful use for the patient population seen by the EP during the reporting period. The majority of measures require numerators and denominators based on actions performed for this patient population to be accurately calculated and attested. The key difference between the core and menu measures compared to the CQMs is that the latter must be reported as generated by the certified EHR technology; see the CQM webpage. Core and menu measures, contrastingly, "may also have to include information from paper-based patient records or from records maintained in uncertified EHR technology," in order to "provide complete and accurate information" (FAQ 10589—see above). For example, Core Measures 3, 5, 6, and 7 require the denominators include all unique patients seen by the EP during the reporting period. If an EP does not have all unique patients had data entered into the certified EHR technology, he would need to supplement his EHR data with other record-keeping to attest to an accurate denominator.

Beginning in January 2014, there are several changes to the Stage 1 EHR meaningful use objectives, measures, and exclusions. Below is a list of changes for EPs:

  • EPs will no longer be permitted to count an exclusion toward the minimum of 5 menu objectives on which they must report if there are other menu objectives which they can meet.
  • Core 12 objective and measure has been changed to provide patients with the ability to view online, download, and transmit their health information for all EPs.
  • Core measure 8 has new exclusions and the age limit for recording blood pressure has been changed to age 3; removal of age limit requirement for height and weight.
  • The objective for providing electronic copies of health information will no longer be required.
  • Menu 5, the objective for timely electronic access th health information will no longer be required for Stage 1.
  • CQMs will still be required in order to achieve meaningful use. However, the list of measures has changed to the 2014 CQM.

For more information about these important changes click on the link below:

Reviewing the Purpose of Certification

  • 10157: clarifying when EHR technology must be certified relative to the reporting period
  • 10465: using a different system to calculate numerators and denominators (acceptable)
  • 10590: using a different system to meet the core and menu measures (not acceptable)

Using CEHRT is the purpose and prerequisite of meaningful use, but the complexities of upgrading technologies as well as using CEHRT in conjunction with other processes supporting clinical workflow can create questions. Any concerns about whether the use of CEHRT is consistent with meaningful use should be addressed by the above FAQs.

Complicating the Landscape
Achieving meaningful use can be complicated by various circumstances, so each of the following pages addresses some of these challenges for EPs who are...

Working at Multiple Sites