Meaningful Use Measures: ePrescribing – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on April 18, 2011 I Written By

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

I hope that by now, readers have heeded the advice I gave in a previous post, “No Matter What Else You Do in 2011, You’ve Got to ePrescribe” and are covering their bases regarding ePrescribing under MIPPA. Even though providers can’t collect a meaningful use incentive (as a Medicare participant) during the same year that they earn an ePrescribing incentive, having the ePrescribing workflow in place for MIPPA purposes will prepare them well for meaningful use.

Meaningful Use Core Measure: ePrescribing

More than 40% of all permissible prescriptions written by the EP are transmitted electronically using certified EHR technology.

This is a core, i.e., required, measure that can only be excluded by an EP who writes fewer than 100 prescriptions during the reporting period and attests to that number of prescriptions. A continuing ePrescribing challenge faced by some specialists is the inability to ePrescribe Schedule II-V drugs. CMS took that issue off the table—at least for the purposes of meaningful use—by limiting the calculation to “permissible prescriptions.” (The definition of “permissible” excludes controlled substances because it is based on the rules that were in place in January 2010, when the Final Rule on Meaningful Use was published.)

The good news about the ePrescribing measure is that in the course of satisfying this one measure, providers will be simultaneously addressing 4-5 other measures—CPOE, maintaining a medication list, drug-to-drug and drug-allergy checks, and the menu measure requiring implementation of a drug formulary. Of this list, those that require more than simply “enabling the functionality” will be the topics of future Meaningful Use Monday posts.

Important notes about MIPPA and EHR Incentives:

  • It is possible to be deemed a successful ePrescriber in one program, but not the other, because the two programs have different specifications, so make sure to understand the rules for each.
  • If you choose to pursue the EHR incentives rather than the ePrescribing incentives this year, you must still continue to comply with the MIPPA requirements, (i.e., use the G-Code), to avoid 2012 and 2013 penalties.

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money. Check out Lynn’s previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.