Meaningful Use Overview


Meaningful Use Overview​

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The law includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health ACT (HITECH Act), which was intended to accelerate the adoption of health information technology (HIT) and the use of qualified electronic health record systems (EHRs).

The EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) provides payment to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) when they meet a set of standards for the use of federally certified EHR technology (CEHRT) as part of their practice. Meaningful Use was established as a progressive, 3-stage program:

  • Stage 1: Use of CEHRT for data capturing & sharing (began in 2011)
  • Stage 2: Use of CEHRT to advance clinical processes (began in 2014)
  • Stage 3: Use of CEHRT to move toward improved health outcomes. Beginning with the 2018 reporting year, all Meaningful Use participants will attest to Stage 3 requirements.

On Friday, October 16, 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final Rule that details the criteria participants must meet in order to qualify for incentive payments under the Meaningful Use program. This Final Rule includes Modifications to Meaningful Use for 2015-2017, as well as the provisions for Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond.

**NOTE: Most attestations for the 2017 reporing period are due FEBRUARY 28, 2018.  Check with your state's Medicaid EHR Incentive Program to confirm the deadline.  For 2017, for all new returning participants, the EHR reporting period is a minimum of any 90 consecutive days in the 2017 calendar year.**

Meaningful Use Requirements for Stage 3 (2018 and beyond)

All Eligible Providers (EPs) participating in Meaningful Use Stage 3 must attest to the following eight objectives. Full details are available at the links below:

All EPs must use 2015 Edition CEHRT to meet Stage 3 requirements.

Flexibility within Objectives and Measures:

  • Coordination of Care through Patient Engagements (Objective 6): To meet the objective, providers must:
    • ATTEST to all three measures
    • MEET the threshold for at least two measures
  • Health Information Exchange (Objective 7): To meet this objective, providers must:
    • ATTEST to all three measures
    • MEET the threshold for at least two measures
  • Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting (Objective 8): To meet this objective, provdiers must:
    • ​REPORT on two measures

At this time, the AAP neither maintains nor endorses a specialized registry that satisfies the requirements for the Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting Objective. CMS has a non-comprehensive Centralized Repository of public health and clinical data registry reporting options available at​​

Meaningful Use Resources

General Information About the Medicaid Meaningful Use Program

Beginning with the 2018 Reporting Year, the reporting period is a full calendar year. The only current exception to this is for EPs attesting to Meaningful Use for the first time; first-time participants may use a 90-day reporting period.

Each state coordinates their own Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. State-specific issues that directly impact pediatricians' participation in Meaningful Use include:

  • ​Does your state include CHIP patients as part of the 20% Medicaid patient volume?
  • Is the Medicaid patient volume based on the calendar year, or the selected 90-day reporting period?

You can find contact information for your state's program here.

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