There has been a recent buzz about Meaningful Use Funding being removed; this caused many meaningful users, and non-users to wonder about what to do next. This rumor appears to be false, as President Obama’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction states that the incentives program will continue for those acquiring meaningful use. In 2015 those who have become meaningful users will be penalized. This money is going to go towards helping everyone, by going into a deficit reduction fund. The money collected will go into an account beginning in 2020 that will be used starting in 2021 for deficit reduction. The plan is that in 10 years we will save $500 million. This will greatly reduce our deficit.
Meaningful use is a program that is meant to help not only the hospitals and doctor’s offices, but the patients as well. There are three main components to meaningful use
1. The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner, such as e-prescribing
2. The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care.
3. The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measures.
There are three stages of meaningful use: Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3. Stage 1 started this year, 2011, and will go until 2012. This is when companies will start to understand how to use the EHR system and information sharing. Stage 2 will start in 2013, and stage 3 will begin in 2015. Both of these stages will be further implementation of EHR and information sharing systems. These rules will be created as the stages start. To learn more about the Meaningful Use program go to https://www.cms.gov/ehrincentiveprograms/30_Meaningful_Use.asp