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    CMS Releases Final Rule on Meaningful Use

    The Final Rule for Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology Also Released

     
    July 13th, 2010 - Health information technology has the potential to improve health care quality, increase the efficiency of the care delivery system, reduce health disparities, and further engage patients and families in their health care. Realizing the full benefits of an electronic health record requires use in a meaningful way. As you are all well aware, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 gave authority to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) to provide incentives for providers who become meaningful users of certified electronic health records. For an overview of the Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Final Rule please go to http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx#spec_C
     
    The Final Rule for Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology has also been posted and can be found at http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx#spec_H
     
    The proposed rulemaking was released at the end of 2009, and since that time CMS, ONC, and the HIT Policy Committee, considered thousands of public comments and worked together to define provisions that will provide the incentive payments to eligible providers and hospitals who achieve meaningful use. This provision, defining meaningful use, has been updated in the final rule to reflect a more flexible, consistent, and simpler message.
     
    Some interesting changes to note in the final rule:
     
    •             More consistent message between CMS programs
    •             Easier calculations of measures
    •             Greater flexibility in achieving objectives
     
    With this announcement, we are excited for the opportunity to work alongside you to provide resources and assistance as you take the steps toward adopting, implementing, upgrading or go directly to meaningfully using a certified EHR. We will work provide training and support services to help your adoption; information and guidance to smooth the implementation process; and technical assistance as needed. Please visit us at www.nyecrec.org. We look forward to working with you in achieving meaningful use of electronic health records.
     
    Sincerely,
    Paul Wilder
    Director, Health IT Adoption
    NYeC Regional Extension Center Program Director