Meaningful Use is defined as the use of certified electronic health record technologies in a manner that moves a provider towards or achieves the goals of improving health care quality, efficiency and patient safety. A provider can demonstrate this by adopting and using technologies that meet the criteria, standards and capabilities established in the meaningful use rule. The meaningful use criteria, standards and capabilities will evolve in stages over time to continue to advance the state of HIT.
Specifically for Medicare and Medicaid use common definitions of meaningful use are:
- Use certified EHR technology to track, record and exchange information including:
- Use CPOE and ePrescribing
- Record demographics and vital signs
- Maintain up-to-date problem lists
- Check insurance eligibility and submit claims
- Have capability to exchange key clinical information
- Have certain technical privacy and security capabilities
- Capture and submit specific clinical quality measures
- Can provider patients an electronic copy of their health information
Meaningful Use criteria are divided into stages; each subsequent stage requires more capabilities.
Stage 2 Meaningful Use
On September 4, 2012, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule that specifies the Stage 2 criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs), and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to continue to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. All providers must achieve meaningful use under the Stage 1 criteria before moving to Stage 2.
To help providers better understand Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements, CMS has developed Stage 2 Meaningful Use Specification Sheets for EPs and EHs that provide detailed information on each Stage 2 objective, including:
- How to calculate the numerator and denominator
- How to qualify for an exclusion
- Definitions of important terms
- Requirements for achieving the objectives
Stage 2 Specification Sheets
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