CMS Has Added an Important New FAQ for EPs on Using Hospital EHR Modules for Meaningful Use

We want to help keep you updated with information on the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.

CMS has recently added a new FAQ that discusses the ability for eligible professionals (EPs) in the EHR Incentive Programs to use hospital EHR modules to achieve meaningful use. Take a minute and review the new FAQ below.

Question: Can an EP use EHR technology certified for an inpatient setting to meet a meaningful use objective and measure?

Answer: Yes. For objectives and measures where the capabilities and standards of EHR technology designed and certified for an inpatient setting are equivalent to or require more information than EHR technology designed and certified for an ambulatory setting, an EP can use the EHR technology designed and certified for an inpatient setting to meet an objective and measure. There are some EP objectives, however, that have no corollary on the inpatient side. As a result, an EP must possess Certified EHR Technology designed for an ambulatory setting for such objectives. Please reference ONC FAQ 12-10-021-1 and 9-10-017-2 and CMS FAQ 10162 for discussions on what it means to possess Certified EHR Technology, ONC FAQ 6-12-025-1 for a list of affected capabilities and standards, and how that relates to the exclusion and deferral options of meaningful use.

You can find this FAQ in the CMS FAQ system (CMS FAQ system) by searching for it by FAQ number. Type in 6421 in the “FAQ # Search” box found at the top, left side of the FAQ page. Choose the “FAQ #” option by clicking the circle and highlighting it in blue.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?

Make sure to visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

Over 100,000 Providers Have Been Paid Under the EHR Incentive Programs

CMS and ONC Announce Over 100,000 Providers Have Been Paid Under the EHR Incentive Programs

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that over 100,000 health care providers have been paid under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.

Only three months ago, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, wrote a blog post, 2012: The Year of Meaningful Use, which declared the goal for getting 100,000 health care providers to adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs by the end of 2012.

According to Acting Administrator Tavenner, “Meeting this goal so early in the year is a testament to the commitment of everyone who has worked hard to meet the challenges of integrating EHRs and health information technology into clinical practice.”

As of the end of May 2012:

Providers Paid Information
• More than 110,000 eligible professionals and more than 2,400 eligible hospitals have been paid by the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
• Approximately 48 percent of all eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals in the U.S. have received an incentive payment for adopting, implementing, upgrading, or demonstrating meaningful use of an EHR.
• One out of every five Medicare and Medicaid eligible professionals in the U.S. has received an incentive payment for adopting, implementing, upgrading, or demonstrating meaningful use of an EHR.
Payment Information
• Over $5.7 billion in EHR Incentive Program payments have been made as of the end of May 2012.
• More than $3 billion in Medicare EHR Incentive Program payments were made between May 2011 (when the first payments were released) and the end of May 2012.
• More than $2.6 billion in Medicaid EHR Incentive Program payments were made between January 2011 (when the first states launched their programs) and the end of May 2012.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?

Make sure to visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs, and view the press release and May monthly report by visiting the Data and

Healthcare IT Spending is Planning on Growing in the Triple Digits

As hospitals, physicians and insurers deal with shifting reimbursement scenarios and IT investment demands, 84 percent of industry technology executives indicated they are actively discussing regional alignment and solution purchases to address stakeholder interoperability and future accountable care demands, according to a recent Black Book Rankings user survey. Black Book Rankings, based in Clearwater, Fl. is a technology and services market research and opinion research company.

However, only one in fifteen provider organizations indicated that they are executing a synchronized stakeholder/vendor strategy as enterprise HIE vendors qualify their capabilities for robust triple-digit spending increases through 2014.

The 2012 State of the Health Information Exchange Industry report, released today ranks the top enterprise HIE firms based on the responses of HIE early adopters and users, as well as currently implementing customers. Vendors were evaluated on eighteen key performance indicators including stakeholder alignment, accountable care support, sustainability, interoperability, analytics, accessibility, configuration, interfaces and implementations, clinical workflow, data integrity and security.

The survey of 4,000 healthcare delivery and insurance organizations leaders provides aggregated insight into the conditions and priorities of the enterprise HIE marketplace. The survey included validated client experience and satisfaction ratings on private HIE developers with functionally comparative products.

A handful of HIE vendors achieved the highest client satisfaction rankings in a field of 259 viable system integrators. Eighty-seven percent of prospective HIE purchasing decision makers indicated an intention to only consider a top tier vendor driving potentially multimillion dollar revenue surges for these firms. The top ranked HIE vendors based on client experience for 2012 are:

  •      Optum: Top Payer/Insurer–based HIE vendor
  •      Lawson, an Infor Company: Top Complex Data & IT Integrator HIE vendor
  •      NextGen: Top Ambulatory EHR EMR-based HIE vendor
  •      Harris Healthcare: Top Core HIE System vendor
  •      Cerner: Top Hospital Information Systems-based HIE vendor