Registration and attestation are detailed processes which will demand a significant amount of physicians’ time. During a CMS/ONC session at HIMSS, an audience member asked whether each of her organization’s 800 physicians had to personally go onto the CMS portal and register individually. In response to the answer “yes”, she suggested that CMS should at least allow physicians to assign a “proxy” to an administrative staff member to complete the registration process on their behalf.
I am happy to report that such a process is in the planning stages for both registration and attestation, (at least for participants in the Medicare program), according to a recently posted FAQ on the CMS website—but physicians will have to wait until at least May to take advantage of it. Physicians must still register and attest individually, (as opposed to by group), but they will be able to designate a third party to handle these administrative tasks for them. Until this system is in place, however, each eligible professional will have to register for himself or herself. So, unless a physician is planning to attest to meaningful use early this year, it might pay to wait a few months to register.
Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EMR 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 the previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.