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MU Attestation: Save Your Documentation – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on March 26, 2012 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.

The end of March will likely bring a host of meaningful use attestations as the first 90-day period in 2012 draws to a close. Before you sit back and wait for your check, make sure that you assemble all the documentation that supports the information you provide to CMS. There will be provider audits, and EPs who cannot back up their attestation could forfeit their incentive payments. Documentation can be in paper or electronic format, and should be retained for 6 years. 

CMS does not specify all the necessary documentation, so the following are some suggestions:

  • Your EHR’s Automated Measure Calculation report – showing the numerators and denominators for each of the meaningful use measures that are numerically based
  • Clinical quality measures report – clinical quality measures must be reported “exactly as generated as output from the certified EHR technology.”
  • Clinical decision support rule – perhaps a dated screen shot to show that a CDS rule was implemented for the reporting period
  • Evidence of your data exchange test – whether the test was successful or not
  • Documentation of the security risk analysis you conducted – what you did, deficiencies you identified, corrective actions you took
  • Your test of the ability to submit immunization data and/or syndromic surveillance data – either proof that you conducted the test or documentation that the registry/public health agency cannot electronically accept the data (if you claim that exclusion)
  • The actual Patient List you generated (if you selected this menu measure)

 For more information, see the CMS website.

More Meaningful Use Stage 1 Numbers from 2011

Posted on February 3, 2012 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.

In a previous Meaningful Use Monday we wrote about a bunch of the Meaningful Use 2011 statistics that were put out by ONC and CMS. I know that my readers love statistics and information about Meaningful Use. Carl Bergman sent me a PDF file that contained some really interesting data on Meaningful Use stage 1 in 2011. The first pages we basically covered in the previous post, but starting on about page 10 or so there are some more detailed numbers.

Take a look at let us know which numbers you find interesting and/or unique.


Meaningful Use Numbers from 2011 and Looking Towards 2012 – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on January 16, 2012 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.

HITECH Answers recently posted a great post that gives a run down of the EHR Incentive program’s progress in 2011. Here’s their list with my own analysis and commentary of each point.

123,921 Eligible Professionals have registered for EHR Incentives, 15,255 have successfully attested to meaningful use in the Medicare program.
This seems like such a HUGE difference in numbers. That’s just over 12% of Eligible Professionals that registered attested to meaningful use. Does this mean that we’re going to see a tidal wave of meaningful use attestation in 2012? Possibly.

I believe that we’ll see more eligible professionals attesting to meaningful use in 2012. However, the question is how many of those other 108,666 will attest to meaningful use in 2012 and how many are like the Happy EMR Doctor who just registered to see the MU process. I wonder how many first hand meaningful use experiences by doctors will scare doctors away from MU attestation.

3.077 Eligible Hospitals have registered EHR Incentives and 604 of those have successfully attested to meaningful use.
This is almost 20% of hospitals that have registered that have attested to meaningful use. It’s not surprising that this number is a lot higher than eligible professionals. I still believe that the wave of meaningful use attestation will come from these other 2473 hospitals and probably many more that still haven’t registered. I haven’t seen a good number of how many hospitals are in the US. Does anyone know that number? The EHR incentive money that goes to hospitals will dwarf those of eligible professionals.

$2,533,689,145 has been paid out in Medicare and Medicaid Incentives.
$2.5 billion sent out in 2011. I just went back to the first time I tagged meaningful use on this site on April 3, 2009 (coincidentally I have 19 pages of 10 posts each tagged with Meaningful Use). Amazing to think that it’s taken basically 3 years to spend $2.5 billion on EHR.

277 hospitals have received payments under both Medicare and Medicaid and of those 12 were CAHs.
That’s about half of the hospitals that have attested to meaningful use under Medicare are also getting the Medicaid EHR incentive money as well.

22% of eligible professionals that have been paid EHR incentives are Family Practitioners and 20% are Internal Medicine.
I must admit that I would have thought that the percentage of family doctors that got paid EHR incentive money would have been a lot higher. I guess when you have so many other specialty areas I shouldn’t be that surprised. I also wonder why the internal medicine number is so high. These numbers actually make me believe that a lot of family practice doctors are sitting out when it comes to meaningful use.

41 States Medicaid programs were open for registration. Two additional States launched in January of 2012.
I wonder what’s holding back the other 7 states. From what I’ve seen all the states will eventually get there.

More than 1500 EHR products have been certified by ONC-ATCBs.
That’s a lot of EHR software. I still put the EHR company list at about 300 EHR vendors. 1500 includes multiple versions of the same software, partial EHR certification for products like data warehouses, ePrescribing, etc. The best thing that’s come from the ONC-ATCB program is that it has made EHR certification basically irrelevant in the EHR selection process. Every EHR vendor is certified now. This is much better than the false assurances that EHR certification provided before. I still dislike what EHR certification has done to the industry, but at least it’s not misleading doctors the same way it was before.

Tips for Successful MU Attestation – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on January 9, 2012 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.

Having just experienced the attestation process firsthand as I watched an SRS client successfully attest to meaningful use, I am happy to report that this part of demonstrating meaningful use is relatively easy—a bit tedious if you are attesting for multiple providers, but not at all difficult. CMS has created a user-friendly, web-based attestation system. Assuming that your EHR provides the information you need in a useful format, you have successfully met all the required measures, and you come prepared, there should be no reason to have an unsuccessful attestation.

Here are some tips that will ensure your success:

  • Register in advance: Even though you can register as late as at the time of attestation, the combined task would be overwhelming—particularly if you are attesting “on behalf of” a provider. Registering in advance ensures that everything is up-to-date in NPPES and PECOS and that you have all the necessary information.
  • Make sure that all measures have been met: If your EHR does not show the percentages for measures that have thresholds, do the math yourself to verify your success on each one. CMS offers a worksheet that you might find helpful for this purpose. Verify that you have also met all other (non-numerical) measures. If you fail to satisfy even one measure, do not attest now—go back and try another reporting period.
  • Have documentation for each provider:
    – Registration confirmation page with registration ID#

    – Password

    – EHR certification number

    – Reporting period dates (make sure it covers at least 90 days)

    – Printout of all meaningful use measures: numerators and denominators, exclusions and reasons

      (when there is more than one possible reason)

    – Clinical Quality Measure report: numerators, denominators, exclusions

  • Do not hit “Submit” until you have reviewed the “Attestation Summary” page: Double check your data. Make sure that you have said “yes” to all yes/no measures and that your numbers are entered accurately. The summary page does not display percentages, so you have to do the math yourself to be sure that you meet the thresholds.
  • Submit attestation and print the “Submission Receipt” as confirmation: If you have done everything correctly it will state that “all measures are accepted and meet MU minimum standards.”

While not necessary, I highly recommend having a second person help you attest. A second set of eyes will shorten the time the process takes and will reduce the potential for errors in posting your data.