For example, the objective calling for more than 80% of all unique patients seen by the EP have at least one problem list entry or an indication that no problems are known for the patient recorded as structured data. Therefore, if an EP only practices at one location or has certified EHR technology available at each one of his practice locations, then the denominator would be all unique patients seen during the EHR reporting period, regardless of the location. However, if the EP practices at multiple locations and only has certified EHR technology available at two of his three practice locations—totaling 80% of his patient encounters during the reporting period— then the denominator population is only those unique patients seen at locations where certified EHR technology is available. This means that the EP will need to review the measures based on the collective total of unique encounters for all of the practice sites where certified EHR technology is available at the start of the reporting period.
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Note that Meaningful Use measures are limited to a period of time equivalent to the reporting period, meaning that the “count” will start on the date at which you intend to begin reporting and end on the date at which the reporting period ends. A period of 90 days is required for the first year that an EP begins reporting on Meaningful Use, and a full calendar year for each reporting year thereafter.
The 90-day reporting period that is required for the first year may lessen the burden associated with the initial reporting and program learning curve. Keep in mind, however, that the shorter reporting period also reduces the number of patients in the measure denominator, making it critical to track your progress and act on each opportunity to satisfy the Meaningful Use objective.
Understanding the CMS EHR Incentive Program requirements is no easy feat. The ACR is here to help! Visit www.rheumatology.org/HIT for more information and resources to help your practice meet the measure and achieve meaningful use. Also, be sure to read “Behind the Digital Door” on p. 52 of this issue to learn more about rheumatology practices that are working to become meaningful users.
ACR Webinars on Meaningful Use
The ACR CMS EHR Incentive Program webinar series was designed to help you qualify for incentive payments:
- Meaningful Use for Rheumatologists: Learn the nuts and bolts of the program, including eligibility, timeline for reporting, and the EHR functional objectives and workflow requirements (originally aired on February 22, 2011).
- Measure Deep Dive Series: Learn more about the intent of each of the Stage 1 core and menu objectives and the requirements required to meet the measure.
View archived webinars in this series or register for upcoming live webinars at www.rheumatology.org/HIT