It has even positively impacted the healthcare industry with information technology designed to grant patients secure access to their records, with ease, from anywhere, among other features. Now government funds, allocated through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), are being used to encourage small practices nationwide to implement these advancements to minimize costs, eliminate medical errors, enhance care, and push paper to the wayside!


Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs distribute dollars by ensuring that practices are exercising “meaningful use.” Meaningful use is a healthcare compliance term that states eligible medical professionals and hospitals must prove usage of certified EHR technology through data that tracks both quality and quantity. Thousands of dollars in incentives are paid out yearly to professionals who can prove meaningful use – and there are plenty of key points to consider when you decide to make the switch!


1. Selecting certified technology

One of the first steps toward qualifying for incentives is selecting certified EHR technology that checks off safety and compliance requirements.  EHR technology must be tested and certified by the Office of the National Coordinator’s Authorized Testing and Certification Body to gain eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid incentives.

And, if this technology is already in place, it’s important to test the software and double-check its certification!


2. Mastering meaningful use

So what are the benchmarks for unlocking meaningful use dollars? These requirements are all centered on accurately reporting clinical quality measurements after selecting and implementing a healthcare-compliant system. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), many aspects of patient care are electronically measured – including patient and family engagement, safety, care coordination, population and public health, efficient use of healthcare resources, and clinical process and effectiveness.

Medicaid incentive programs give eligible professionals, in the first year of involvement, the option to adopt, implement, update, or demonstrate meaningful utilization of this certified technology. For Medicare incentive programs, professionals need to successfully demonstrate meaningful use by satisfying clinical quality measures and various objectives on an annual basis.


3. Submitting meaningful data

For medical professionals to finally receive incentives, these programs require proof of effective meaningful use within the practice. Certified EHR systems aid in attesting meaningful use by providing numerical data necessary for evaluating and proving that objectives and clinical quality measures were satisfied.

Providers can view a summary of the results immediately after a report is filed. Professionals have the option to utilize a third party to register as well. Stress less – and earn sizeable incentives – by going paperless!

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