Meaningful Use and the HITECH Act: More Things You Need to Know

hi and welcome to new soft technologies

medical practice management podcast

series I'm Lindsay coats last August we

brought you the top 5 things you need to

know about meaningful use in the HITECH

Act here back with me today to explain

some more things we've got Steve Rogers

our director of product management hasty

good morning Lindsay and he's going to

fill you in on some of the other things

that you need to know surrounding

high-tech and meaningful use and how far

we've come since then so Steve 2011 the

year of incentive payment they started

going out tell us what's going on with

those okay let's let's do a quick

refresher first absolutely yeah the the

HITECH Act was a portion of the american

recovery and reinvestment act of 2009

the ARRA i'm sure everybody's seen those

acronyms floating around and that's what

actually mandated the incentives to

Medicare and Medicaid providers we all

have to keep in mind is not for just

adoption of EHR technology it's actually

for meaningful use of that technology

and a quick refresher on the Medicare

program so the Medicare program to get

maximum payments you can begin either in

2011 or 2012 and the payments would be

up to forty four thousand dollars over a

five-year period and again either

beginning in 2011 or in 2012 if you

start after 2012 you still get incentive

payments but the maximum amount could

not be realized because it cuts it off

after after 2015 it just starts a

reduction right you just you started a

lower rate and then every year you get

money but you missed the first year

payments for Medicaid eligible

professionals the program is a little

bit different for those professionals

they can receive up to sixty three

thousand seven hundred fifty dollars

over a six-year period and the year that

they begin to use the certified EHR

technology can continue longer than the

Medicare so Medicare you had to start in

either 2011 or 2012 to get the maximum

payment with Medicare you can actually

start later because that program runs

through 2021 and that's for every state

that's a great question each state is

separate the Medicaid programs are

state-run they are voluntarily

ministered by each state and an eligible

professional absolutely if they if they

want to participate in Medicaid they

they should go and make sure that their

state is actually started up and using

it because some states have implemented

a program and some states have not as of

right now so a big piece of the equation

is the incentive checks and to get those

you have to be using a certified system

checks are going out must mean that

there are certified systems whether

vendors doing and how can a provider or

what should it provider be looking for

well certified EHR technology is

absolutely the first thing there there

is a great site there are several sites

that you can get the information from

because people have links over but the

ONC a TCB site you can go to a link that

has a full listing you can do a search

for your vendor you can do a search

based on the the product name or if you

have the certification number you could

do a search base on that and get more

details on the product but in any case

you you must be using a certified EHR

technology there's currently four main

testers companies vendors who are doing

the testing primarily among those that

the ones the two that that have most of

the processes working through them right

now RC chit and Drummond group but there

are also two other vendors who are doing

testing now so there's a total of four

companies doing the testing and it's

it's important to make sure first again

you're using certified EHR technology

and you need to check that off okay so

where is new soft in the process oh

great question we've actually got a

certified product the new md EHR version

11 dot one has been certified we went

through the seats yet organization for

our certification so right now if you

look there's about 350 certified

programs out there and and new soft

absolutely has one of them again doing

the EHR version 11 dot one and that can

all be checked up on the CMS website

absolutely absolutely with all the

certification numbers registration

process all of that so let's switch

gears minute there's been a lot of


and talk about these Regional Extension

centers or Rex how do they fit into this

meaningful use picture okay it's

actually a pretty big piece under

high-tech 677 million dollars is

allocated to support a nationwide system

of Rex so obviously a lot of money was

spent on that they're their primary

objective is to provide training and

support services to assist doctors and

other providers in adoption of EHRs and

working through with those doctors to

train them on how to use that technology

to actually meet meaningful use so the

rec centers you know they're there

they're focused on priority primary care

providers so it's it's kind of a it's a

rural settings and under privileged

settings and again focus on primary care

doctors and what they've done is they've

gone out each of the rec centers that is

active they've gotten funding from the

government through through the HITECH

Act and they're functioning as a go to a

resource for the for the doctors in

those situations to come to to identify

you know who should they talk to about

EHR technology what are the differences

between them and which one might be best

for them and again then doing on-site

training and working through how to use

that EHR technology to meet meaningful

use okay but there's been a lot of

controversy surrounding them what is

that what is that about well it's partly

it's the selection process which EHR

technology is going to be used there's

been some questions on exactly how each

state rec center handled that or each

territorial entity within the rec

centers handled that you know which ones

were included which ones wonder what

their selection process was but also

there's a funding question because if

the rec centers cannot prove that they

are self sufficient and they can

actually make money off of working

through with the vendors and working

with those primary care physicians then

the funding from the government may be

cut off so there is some question of

their longevity in this program okay so

CMS will cut the funding after so that's

the way it's positioned right now okay

what's next on the horizon for

Meaningful Use in high-tech and what

should providers be looking for right

now we're in stage one of me

there's already requirements preliminary

requirements going out for stage 2 but

just a quick refresher I know we've

already put out some information

relative to the stage one so we'll

reference that later if somebody wants

to go back and look but stage one

includes 15 core requirements plus ten

menu items which particular eligible

provider needs to choose five in order

to meet meaningful use part of the plan

that's been proposed for Stage two is

that some of those menu items might move

over into the core requirement category

and some of the core requirements where

there's a percentage of how many of your

patients you've met this criteria those

percentages may increase the formal

stage to proposal went out earlier this

year and it was open for comment through

februari 25th those so that comment

period has already closed and the

committee that's tasked with coming up

with a final proposal on the stage

requirements right now says that they're

going to have that in place by the

spring of this year Spring of 2011 the

requirements would take effect january

first 2013 so the current stage 1

requirements are in place for 2011 and

2012 and so the stage two requirements

again that's something that would come

into play for calendar year 2013 for

eligible professionals so at this point

it's been open for comment comments have

come in and now it's the review process

with with an expectation that by summer

we'll see something coming out in a

final rule did I get a lot already yeah

so they'll come back with a with a final

proposal and then that would be

formalized at some point then in the

summer ok and then moved into

implementation in 2013 yeah yep so the

calendar year 2011 2012 follow the stage

1 requirements well I want to thank you

Steve for joining us today thank you and

thank you to everyone else I want to

encourage you to go back and watch our

previous podcasts from August that

covers a lot more of the nitty-gritty of

the actual meaningful use in height

acton what it is and incorporates and

also as an ultimate guide reference CMS

gov they've got some excellent tutorials

on there to walk you through how to get

paid and we'll get those instant

payments in your dorm so thanks again

and make sure to join us next month