Revision of "Meaningful Use" Definition Gains Approval of HIT Policy Committee

The federal HIT Policy Committee has approved revised recommendations submitted by the workgroup charged with putting together an initial definition of meaningful use in relation to EHRs.

he federal HIT Policy Committee has approved revised recommendations submitted by the workgroup charged with putting together an initial definition of meaningful use in relation to EHRs.

The changes to the recommendations for the definition include CPOE criteria refinements and a shorter timeline for implementing PHRs. The Workgroup on Meaningful Use also included a recommendation that “2011 criteria apply not just to 2011, but also to a provider organization's first adoption year,” meaning that, “if a provider cannot be ready for incentive payments until 2012 or 2013, the organization still will start with 2011 criteria.”

The next step in establishing the definition is sending the recommendation to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and other units of the Department of Health and Human Services, which will “use the recommendations for guidance as they develop rules to implement the incentive programs.”

Additional revisions to the definition of meaningful use would require physicians to:

“- Implement one clinical decision support rule relevant to a specialty or a high clinical priority;

- Submit claims electronically to payers;

- Check insurance eligibility electronically when possible;

- Provide patients with timely electronic access to their health information;

- Provide patients, upon request, with an electronic copy of their discharge instructions and procedures at the time of discharge; and

- Require the capability to exchange health information where possible in 2011, with participation in a national health information exchange by 2015.”

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