Because things have changed substantially since we first posted our Top 10 Meaningful Use Misconceptions list, we are providing an update which incorporates information from the proposed rule change from CMS.

Not quite sure what’s involved in Meaningful Use with the changes for 2014? Review our Meaningful Use summary of the common misconceptions about both Stage 1 and Stage 2.

  1. I must attest for 2014 Meaningful Use objectives even if my EHR isn’t ready.
    No; due in part to the low number of EHRs that have been certified for 2014, CMS issued a proposed rule on May 20 that gives eligible providers the option to report for either 2013 Stage 1 or 2014 Stage 1 or Stage 2 objectives, depending on what they were scheduled to demonstrate. See the CMS chart below for specifics.
  2. Meaningful Use Proposed RuleAll EHRs that were certified for Meaningful Use in 2011 are certified for 2014 and can be used to attest in 2015.
    Unfortunately, no—fewer than 175 complete ambulatory EHRs have been certified for 2014, which means that a large majority of the 1,931 complete ambulatory EHRs certified for 2011 are currently not an option for 2015, when you will need an EHR certified to the 2014 requirements regardless of what stage you are projected to attest for.
  3. All EHRs that are certified for 2014 will work well for any specialty.
    Even if your EHR is certified to the 2014 standard for core and menu objectives, it may not be well suited for reporting Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) for your specialty. In some cases, even some of the top 25 EHRs were certified for small numbers of Meaningful Use Stage 2 quality measures. Only 3 of the top 25 EHRs were certified for all 64 CQMs, and MediTouch was one of them.
  4. I can wait to begin attesting for the first time for MU in 2015.
    No, 2014 was the last year in which an EP can begin to get MU incentive payments.
  5. Not attesting for Meaningful Use will have no impact on my income other than missing out on the incentive payment.
    Unfortunately, it will have an impact. 2014 meaningful use performance will be the basis for 2016 Medicare payment adjustments. For EPs, this could mean a 2% reduction in Medicare payments, which equates to thousands of dollars for the average practice.
  6. Meaningful Use Stage 1 only lasts one year.
    No, for EPs that started in 2012 or later, you must be Meaningful Use Stage 1 for two years, and receive incentive payments for each year. See our Meaningful Use Timeline for a thorough explanation of the stages.
  7. I don’t have to attest for Meaningful Use Stage 2 if I’ve already attested for Stage 1.
    At this time there is no guidance from CMS that states that the Meaningful Use program has an end and it certainly does not end at Stage 1 or even Stage 2. Based on what we know today, not participating in new stages of Meaningful Use will result in progressively increasing payment adjustments (penalties) that begin in 2015 and loss of any incentive payments.
  8. I have to attest for MU Stage 2 for a full year in 2014.
    No—for 2014 only, all providers regardless of their Meaningful Use stage are only required to demonstrate meaningful use for just a three-month EHR reporting period. The latest that you can begin attesting for the Medicare program is October 1, 2014.
  9. If I’m attesting for both PQRS and MU, I have to manage each program separately.
    No, you can attest to the same CQMs for both PQRS and MU simultaneously via a CMS compliant file submitted in early 2015. Most providers that were projected to attest for Stage 2 are waiting for the new rule to become law – expected around September 2014. It follows that those providers will probably choose the fourth quarter as their measurement period and attest after the first of the year. For those providers a single file upload is an option worth considering.
  10. Meaningful Use attestation is always difficult and will add hours of work in addition to our normal practice processes.
    Wrong–Meaningful Use attestation does not have to be as difficult as you might think, many of the tasks can be performed by office staff and with the right EHR software you can track your reporting as part of your normal patient care.

With HealthFusion’s Meaningful Use Report Card®, there is virtually no “extra” work to earn your EHR Meaningful Use incentive payment. Simply use our integrated EHR system as directed and follow the 3 easy steps outlined on our website.

For more information on both Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Meaningful Use Stage 2 as well as PQRS attestation, download our free Insider’s Guide to Meaningful Use Q&A.