Many EHR vendors are working with “Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies” (ONC-ATCBs). The ONC-ATCBs (currently Drummond Group, CCHIT, and InfoGard Laboratories) will test and certify that EHRs are compliant with the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria defined in the Meaningful Use Incentive Program and now finalized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We believe that most quality EHR software vendors will be able to achieve Meaningful Use Certification since the bar for certification has been lowered based on the changes in the final rule. If the government approves enough ONC-ATCBs, then there may be hundreds of certified vendors in 2011. Finding a vendor that is certified will be easy: they are all listed at the ONC’s CHPL (Certified HIT Product List). Once a provider finds and contracts with a certified EHR vendor, the next step is to use the EHR in a “meaningful” manner (more on that in a future blog post) for a 90-day period of time (the measurement period).

What happens next? At the end of a relevant measuring period, the provider must attest that they have met 20 of 25 measures on a CMS website (this website is in the process of development by CMS). This is not as simple as raising your right hand and swearing that you tried to meet the measures. Very specific data (e.g. percentage of patients with at least one problem listed on a structured problem list) must be entered on the CMS website. How is a provider to know what their denominator (number of patients seen) and numerator values (patients with a structured problem list) are? The government in the Final Rule suggests that offices manually track each measure. Can you imagine how much work that places on the office staff and the provider? We have a better solution. The answer is a Meaningful Use Report Card®. MediTouch® has already created the first Meaningful Use Report Card® system. We will supply that report card to every provider that uses the MediTouch system. When it is time to collect your incentive payment, you need to be prepared to attest to 20 measures, so make sure you have all of data required to facilitate that process.

Finding a certified EHR is just the first step on the road to collecting Meaningful Use incentive payments ($44K for Medicare providers, $64K for Medicaid providers, over a five year period). EHR vendors must provide all of the data that they possibly can to make it easy for a provider to attest to the Meaningful Use Measures.  How is your Meaningful Use Report Card® going to turn out?  We hope you pass with flying colors!

Post Script: HealthFusion’s MediTouch EHR® has been certified as well — read the press release.