Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

MU Stage 2 Delayed: Should You Rush to Attest? – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on December 12, 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.

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.

HHS recently announced the postponement of Stage 2 Meaningful Use to 2014. The only providers who are in a position to act on this “opportunity” are those who have not yet, but still could, attest to meaningful use in 2011—but, a word of caution before you rush to attest in 2011. 

The HHS announcement “encourages any providers who have been waiting until 2012 to attest to Stage 1 meaningful use now. ….Those providers who first attest in 2011 can get three payment years for meeting the Stage 1 expectations, while those first attesting in 2012 can only get two payment years under Stage 1 criteria.” 

True. However, you must carefully weigh the benefit, (earning the $8,000 third incentive payment under the rules of Stage 1 instead of those of Stage 2), against the cost, (the permanent loss of your 2011 Medicare ePrescribing bonus money). Remember, you cannot receive incentive payments under both programs during the same year, so you maximize your total reimbursement by collecting the 1% ePrescribing bonus this year and waiting just 3 months to begin earning the $44,000 in EHR incentives over the next 5 years. There is no universally right or wrong strategy—just do the math and analyze the trade-off before making a decision.

Weekend Healthcare IT and EMR Twitter Roundup

Posted on April 24, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

You know on the weekends I love to through in a little round up of some interesting things said about healthcare IT, EMR and other topics on Twitter. Hopefully, they’ll educate, entertain and inform. If not, tomorrow’s another edition of Meaningful Use Monday.


I’ve been talking about this quite a bit lately on this blog (see my post about social media EMR information). However, I love how the described their shift from newsletters to tweets and blog posts since they’re more current. I obviously agree. Although, if you subscribe to the EMR and HIPAA email you can enjoy the convenience of an email newsletter with the current info of a blog.


I saw this announcement a while ago. I’m really excited to see what Rock Health is able to do. They definitely have a number of big names. I wish that I was some way involved with them since I love their approach. Plus, I’m really excited to have my brother, David, participating with me on the Smart Phone Healthcare website I recently launched. Mobile healthcare is a really hot area of the market and I think together we’re going to bring some interesting perspectives to the mobile area of healthcare.


I usually hate PDF’s and a tweet in a blog post that leads to a PDF is probably even worse. Although, it has an interesting format for considering the multiple e-Prescribing incentive programs. Of course, if you’re a regular reader of the site, then you already have started ePrescribing right?


This just made me laugh and so I had to share it. Although, if you Like EMR and HIPAA on Facebook, then it will be so much better than prison. Well, maybe not much better, but it will make me smile.

More Meaningful Use Clarifications and Maximizing EHR (ARRA) and ePrescribing (MIPAA) Incentives

Posted on December 7, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I love the smart readers from this site. They always keep me in line and do a good job clarifying the details of meaningful use for me and you. A few such comments were made on my years for meaningful use post. I thought they were worth sharing since I know that many of you don’t go back and read the great comments people make on my posts (I’ll forgive you for now).

Lynn Scheps from SRSsoft wrote the following comment about a benefit to not showing meaningful use in 2011 and electing to wait until 2012. It’s a way to maximize your incentive money. Although, you will need to implement your EHR quickly to maximize them. Here’s Lynn’s comment:

There is an additional benefit to electing 2012, instead of 2011, as an EP’s first EHR incentive payment year (an unintended consequence of the legislation, no doubt!) In that case an EP can still collect the ePrescribing (1%) bonus for 2011, while potentially qualifying for the maximum ($44K) in EHR incentives. An EP cannot collect under both MIPPA (ePrescribing) and ARRA (EHR incentives) during the same reporting period.

There was also some discussion on the idea of skipping a year of meaningful use and the impact of such a choice. Lynn offers the following comments in response to skipping a year of meaningful use.

In response to Wes Kemp’s comment about the 90-day reporting period and the consequences of skipping years, note that the rules differ under Medicare and Medicaid. Under Medicare, 90 days is sufficient for an EPs FIRST PAYMENT YEAR, regardless of what calendar year that is. For all subsequent payment years, the EP must report on the full year. After the first payment is received by the EP, every year is considered a payment year, whether or not an incentive is earned. So, while an EP can skip a year, he/she forfits the money for that year. Payment amounts are governed by the year in which they are received, not by what year it is for the EP. (p. 44319 of Final Rule.)

Wes Kemp also offered some insights on the Medicaid program and its requirements for meaningful use, attestation and it highlights some interesting differences between the Medicaid and Medicare EMR stimulus (I’ll admit that I don’t know as much about the Medicaid side):

Yes, requirements are more relaxed under Medicaid, than Medicare for MU incentives. My posts relate to MediCAID, since that is my current client’s need. So, with that in mind:

Yes, John, under MediCAID, an EP can attest and then apply for the funds the very next day – no reporting period / requirements in first year. 90 consecutive days reporting in year 2 is required, and full-year reporting for all subsequent participation years.

For subsequent years, the targets are clear enough that EPs will be aware of whether or not they have complied just by reading the data before submitting it. The measures are listed, from which a certain number are selected to report. The denominator / numerator are clearly defined…as are the % targets for each measure. So an EP is able to monitor and strive to achieve the required % of encounters counseled about smoking, for example.

Indeed there are items still to be defined. Optometrists are not specifically included as EPs under the MediCAID MU rules – however, I have been told more than once by ONC that for FQHCs they will be, this is not yet written anywhere that I am aware of. Also, for larger clinics, tracking all the MU measures by EP will require significant effort; especially if EPs come & go during the reporting year.

I think I might invite smart people like Lynn and Wes to do a regular post talking about more details of meaningful use. There’s so many questions still out there about meaningful use. Some we know the answer to, but there’s a lot of things we still don’t understand. Hopefully together we can share what we learn about meaningful use and the EMR stimulus.