There's something we can all relate to when it comes to government policies. We nag about why they keep changing when everything was going perfectly fine, and we find it difficult to implement the new policies and deadlines into our lives. Truth is, policies are always changing and updating in order for healthcare to become more efficient.
As you may know, the deadline for using optical software to implement Meaningful Use into your practice so that you avoid penalties in 2015 is coming up. Because you have to complete your 90 day reporting period of Stage 1 by the end of this year, it's easy to put things off when you don't realize the importance of the policy. So let's take a look at the differences and what you have to complete in order to attest for stages 1, 2, and 3 of Meaningful Use, and how each stage has, and will, contribute to the betterment of your practice.
Using Your Optical Software to Complete The Different Stages of Meaningful Use
Meaningful Use Stage 1 focuses on data capturing and sharing, which includes:
- Electronically capturing health information in a standardized format
- Using that information to track key clinical conditions
- Communicating that information for care coordination processes
- Initiating reporting of CQMs and public health information
- Using information to engage pateints and their families in their care
To start participating in Meaningful Use, you begin with Stage 1. If you're planning on attesting to Stage 1 of Meaningful Use in 2014 there are a few deadlines you should know. You must begin your 90 days of Stage 1 Meaningful Use and have enough time to complete your reporting period before the end of the year to avoid payment penalites in 2015. And, after your 90 days don't forget that you'll still need to complete a full year of meeting Stage 1 requirements in 2015. Since you're starting Stage 1 of Meaningful Use in 2014 you'll need an EHR system that is 2014 certified.
Meaningful Use Stage 2 Focuses on advanced clinical processes, which includes:
- More rigorous HIE
- Increased requirements for E-Prescribing and incorporating lab results
- Electronic transmission of patient care summaries accross multiple settings
- More patient-controlled data
If you're done with Stage 1 and you're starting Stage 2 of Meaningful Use in 2014, here is what you should know:
You must attest with a 2014 certified EHR system. EHR systems that have 2011 certification are no longer valid and need to re-certify. So there is a good chance that the system you were using to attest Stage 1 of Meaningful Use isn't going to be certified right away for you to start Stage 2. You'll either have to wait for your EHR vendor to get certified for 2014, or purchase a different certified system.
Meaningful Use Stage 3 is going to focus on improved outcomes, which includes:
- Improving quality, safety, and efficiency
- CDS for national high-priority conditions
- Patient access to self-management tools
- Access to comprehensive patient data through patient-centered HIE
- Improving population health
The deadline for Stage 3 of Meaningful Use has been pushed back and is now scheduled to begin in 2017, instead of the original scheduled year of 2016.
Hopefully this helped clear up any confusion with the three stages of Meaningful Use! Need help boosting your Meaningful Use and software technology knowledge? Check out our Practice Management & EHR Dictionary, it includes 40+ terms !