Blog | Tuesday, July 13, 2010

QD: News Every Day--"meaningful use" defined

CMS issued its much anticipated final rule today on "meaningful use" of electronic health records, laying out what physicians need to do to qualify for federal bonus payments. The Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release that as much as $27 billion in incentive payments could be made over a 10-year period, and that eligible clinicians could earn up to $44,000 through Medicare and $63,750 through Medicaid. To earn bonus payments, clinicians must meet 15 requirements as well as choose an additional 5 of 10 measures on which to report, the New York Times said, a significant change from the draft version of the rule, which would have required physicians to report on 25 fixed measures. Clinicians must also use electronic prescribing for 40% of their prescriptions to qualify for bonus payments, down from 75% in the draft rule, the Times reported. David Blumenthal, FACP, the national coordinator for health information technology, and Marilyn Tavenner, the principal deputy administrator of CMS, co-authored a paper published online today by the New England Journal of Medicine summarizing the final rule. (Office of the Federal Register, Department of Health and Human Services, New York Times, New England Journal of Medicine)