The meaningful use resources we're providing below are those which we have used and/or visited on a regular basis. Some refer to our own archived newsletters that may be of interest to the HSG reader. Only resources that have stood the test of time are listed. Meaningful use is a deceptively complext topic and is best approached through a number of perspectives.

HITECH Act ยง495.6: Meaningful use objectives and measures for EPs, EHs, and CAHs.

The link above is to the "Stage 1 meaningful use objectives and measures";under the HITECH Act. It contains the required information as regulatory text, but is more or less indecipherable from a practical perspective. Nevertheless, it is often useful to go back to the source authority when confusion arises as to the legal meaning of a term, phrase or abstraction. We believe that it is useful for compliance professionals to be familiar with it.

The Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs

The link above is CMS' official site fore EHR Incentives. It contains a wealth of information regarding the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and how CMS will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. This page contains various downloads and related links that should help you get grounded with practical aspects of CMS' EHR Incentive programs.

HHS' Final Rule: 42 CFR Parts 412, 413, 422 et al.

The link above contains the Final Rule that HHS issued on July 28, 2010 as a PDF. It contains HHS' response to public comments, background information in the programs, an alphabet soup of acronym definitions and information that is not widely available anywhere else. The regulatory text can be found online here, however it does not contain all the information provided in the PDF. For those of you that would prefer a quick video overview of the meaningful use EHR Incentive programs, click here.

ONC's Certified EHR Technology's Final Rule

Providers and patients must be confident that the electronic health information technology (health IT) products and systems they use are secure, can maintain data confidentiality, can work with other systems to share information, and can perform a set of well-defined functions. To this end, the link above contains information regarding the Final Rule on an initial set of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria issued by the HHS Secretary on July 13, 2010, as well as related information.

Electronic Health Records and Meaningful Use

The link above is ONC's Portal that provides information at the intersection of EHRs and meaningful use. The Portal provides extensive information for providers as well as meaningful use information for healthcare stakeholders in general. The Portal contains various testimonials from industry heavyweights which may be of interest if your organization is still trying to figure out the meaningful use value proposition.

Meaningful Use Stage 1 Requirements Presentation

The link above contains a powerpoint presentation that outlines the Stage 1 Requirements in a much more readable format. It was derived from the statute and the final rule. The presentation uses a table format to distinguish the requirements based on the meaningful use policy priority and whether or not the requirements pertain to an eligible professional (EP), an eligible hospital (EH) or both. If you prefer to see the same information in a spreadsheet format click here.

Meaningful Use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The link above is provided by HITEC-LA an organization that helps Los Angeles County health care providers implement and meaningfully use Electronic Health Records (EHR) by providing high quality, personalized technical assistance from end-to-end, helping to achieve Meaningful Use of EHRs and improve the quality of care for patients in Los Angeles County. This site contains a ton of useful information and is highly recommended.

Dr. Halamka: Meaningful Use Attestation Experience

Dr. Halamka wrote a post summarizing his experience with attestation for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as an EH and related comments summarize the experience of others. This is an excellent place to start in order to familiarize yourself with the attestation process. It provides a good high level view of the organizational identifiers you will need as well as the other information you should be prepared to enter. There is no substitute for having a "an excellent go by" before attempting the experience on your own.

HIMSS Meaningful Use OneSource

Here's what HIMSS has to say about this resource:

In its role as the leading authority on the appropriate implementation and use of health IT, HIMSS has developed the Meaningful Use OneSource to equip our members and other interested organizations to prepare for the Meaningful Use and Certification Criteria and Standards regulations. The Meaningful Use OneSource is a repository of hundreds of documents, tools, and links to other knowledge available on the Internet.

The HIMSS Meaningful Use Portal is frequently updated and represent an excellent resource for staying on top of developing news.

HIPAA / HITECH August 2011 Newsletter

This article addresses the kinds of information that must be tracked in order to receive your EHR Incentives under the meaningful use stage 1 requirements. Clearly there is quite a bit of information that needs to be tracked, most of which will be coming from a provider's EHR system. However, the information in an EHR system is not static. Therefore, providers must capture all required information to legally attest to HITECH Act compliance as a snapshot in a point intime, which is not a trivial task given the complexity of the objectives.