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!!

How Critical is the October 1, 2011 Deadline? – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on September 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.

As October approaches, providers who want to apply for the 2011 EHR incentive—and their vendors—are scrambling to implement in time to allow for the 90-day reporting period. An EMR and HIPAA reader submitted the following question: 

Under the EHR Incentive program, in order to receive payment for 2011, the 90- day reporting period must begin no later than 1 October 2011 [Technical point: October 3 is the actual deadline]. Does this mean that the ONC Certified EHR must be in place and operational at that time or can it be installed after 1 October 2011 as long as the pertinent patient data is entered into the EHR once it is installed?

 The EHR must be in use during the entire 90-day period. Data must be reported for the entire 90 days; some measures require something to “be enabled” for the entire period, (e.g., a clinical decision support rule, drug formulary); and other measures have time frames attached, (e.g. provide a clinical summary within 3 business days), which would not be possible to accomplish retroactively. 

My suggestion is that you take the pressure off by postponing meaningful use—and the receipt of your incentive—by just 3 months. If you begin reporting on January 1 instead, you will still have the opportunity to earn the full $44,000 over the 2012-2016 period. You can attest at the end of March and expect your incentive by May. This schedule has the additional advantage of allowing you to earn a 1% ePrescribing bonus for 2011, which you would forego if you earn an EHR incentive since you cannot collect both in the same reporting period. Focus your energy this year on ePrescribing for 25 Medicare encounters and on successfully implementing your new EHR in 2012.

The Day After: Reflection on September 11

Posted on I Written By

It has been ten years since the world was shocked by the events of September 11th.  Like most people, those images are forever ingrained on my mind.  None of us will ever forget where we were, or how we felt.  The magnitude of emotion that I felt is something that has had a deep impact on my entire life since then.

I was living in The Netherlands and was incredibly impressed with the people and their complete concern with the US and Americans in general.  There was an outpouring of love and concern from people who had not been personally affected, but felt the need to show their support for their friends and allies.

I vividly remember the images from the US Embassy in The Hague surrounded with hundreds of people, most of whom had brought flowers or other items to show their support.  One man was asked why he had come and left flowers, and his response was that, “The Americans are our friends and they need our support right now.”

There is a particular set of beliefs and ideals that make America great, but they are not exclusive to America.  There are people all over the world who value freedom and democracy just as much as we do.

In the ensuing ten years I have served six years in the Marine Corps, and am currently serving as an officer in the Air Force.  It is truly an honor to play some small role in helping to secure that freedom.

While the troubles facing our country today may not be violent or immediate, they are just as important when it comes to the strength of our country.  I have all the confidence in the world that the American people will come together and unite to bring America back to its full level of greatness.

We were all effected in some way by the events of September 11th.  May we never forget the sacrifice made by those on the ground that day, and equally important, the sacrifice of the men and women who have fought for our freedom since.  It is the people that make America great.  Always has been, always will be.