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Deadlines May Change, Exceptions May be Allowed but Meaningful Use & ICD-10 are Here to Stay!

Author: ; Published: Mar 19, 2014; Category: Certification, Meaningful Use; Tags: , , , , , , ; No Comments

Meaningful Use and ICD-10 are here to stay. That’s simply a fact. Never mind varying regulatory deadlines, policy exceptions and Stage 2 flexibility. ICD-10 has a hard stop deadline of October 1, 2014 and Meaningful Use isn’t going anywhere either. How the Affordable Care Act plays into all of this is yet another unknown.

Last month at the HIMSS14 conference Marilyn Tavenner of  the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced more flexibility for hardship exemptions in meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use. Hardship exemptions could buy a practice more time but the practice could still lose incentives for 2014 AND there are more revisions expected later this year AND there is still uncertainty if an exemption will thwart off program penalties! 

A UC Charting Solutions friend and Forbes contributor, Nicole Fisher also attended HIMSS14.  Nicole had the opportunity to speak with senior representatives at CMS and ONC.  Their warning to the industry is Meaningful Use is on track and moving forward.  NOW.

Another great observation Nicole shared was the priority healthcare IT is for CMS and ONC. HIMSS14 chronicled the convening of healthcare IT innovation and policy/political leaders for maybe the first time. The priority of Meaningful Use and healthcare IT is resoundingly clear. 

So what does that mean to Eligible Providers (EP) and what should EP’s do in 2014? While looking through lists of Meaningful Use deadlines in 2014 the deadlines were more confusing than the measurements. My empathy for EP’s grows with ongoing regulatory uncertainty and demands on physicians compounding the complexities of simply practicing medicine!

Here are some suggestions on how to play the Meaningful Use game:

  1. Play it safe…just get it done and start now.
  2. Transition your practice to a Meaningful Use Certified EHR vendor that fits your workflow.  TODAY. 
    • Find a certified 2nd generation vendor who offers full Meaningful Use support
    • Vendors like UC Charting have a program that takes care of all the MU for you from set up to incentive for the provider
  3. Make sure your vendor is light on their “feet” assuring they can keep up with firm and random regulations.
  4. Focus on ICD-10…Marilyn Tavenner at CMS promised at the HIMSS14 keynote address that deadline is not going to change. Let UC Charting handle Meaningful Use for you.

 

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