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Making 2011 “Meaningful”

Today, $27 billion in incentives begin for using electronic medical records, as office- and hospital-based providers begin to register for meaningful use criteria.

Providers must use a certified system according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid meaningful-use guidelines for 90 consecutive days within the first year of the program to qualify. Eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 over five years under the program. There’s an additional incentive for eligible professionals who provide services in a Health Professional Shortage Area. To get the most money, Medicare-eligible professionals must begin by 2012. By 2015, Medicare-eligible professionals and hospitals that do not demonstrate meaningful use get punished.

Converting to EHRs is a headache, and the process itself can convert an eight-minute visit for a sore throat into a 25-minute struggle in data entry. But as one doctors noticed, when even his mother carries her medical records on a flash drive, it’s time to go digital.

And, Danielle Ofri, FACP, finds that electronic medical systems are capped as to how meaningful the resulting record is. Isn’t that the point of expanded capability? Apparently not, she writes.

If you’re looking for an easier way to prove meaningful use, check our resources from ACP and ACP Internist here, here and here. (Modern Healthcare, CMS, Annals of Internal medicine, Palm Beach Post, ACP Internist)

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*


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