ElectronicMedicalRecordsMandate.org provides direct information on a variety of EHR topics surrounding the HITECH act, the 2014 mandates and the penalties providers will be impacted by in 2015 if they are not meeting the 'meaningful use' guidelines by the end of 2014. This article, reposted from the EMR Mandate website, outlines the three stages of the EMR Mandate.
EMR Mandate as concerning the vision of President Obama’s to transform all medical records in electronic based, is only about one year from now. Originally an initiative led by the medical record industry, electronic records systems has received a push from President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan. The new legislation known as ARRA or The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains healthcare components that help with the adoption, development, and meaningful use of electronic medical record systems for all patients in 2014.
Starting in early January 2015, the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) act has provided some penalties that could be considered a serious consequence to who not adopting an EMR. As you saw earlier, to get the applicable funding, health practitioners must understand and prove meaningful use of patient medical records and from the use of certified EHR technologies. This means that the EMR vendor selected by medical practitioners must be comply strictly with the rules set.
Medical practitioners who do not pass meaningful healthcare use their Medicare payments will be reduced by 1%, reduction increases to 2% if in 2016 they still not be able to demonstrate their meaningful use. And increased to 3% in subsequent years. If the HHS (Health and Human Service) Department found that in the end of 2017 meaningful user is still less than 75% proportion of the payment reduction will resume again at 1% per year. But in some cases such as doctors who practice in places that do not reach the internet, there are exceptions for them.
How to avoid meaningful use penalties in 2015
The best way to avoid the EMR 2015 penalty of electronic medical records mandate is to demonstrate meaningful use in 2013. If you decide to wait until 2014 as your first year to participate, the last reporting period is July-September 2014. EPs will not be given the October-December 90-day period in 2014 since the attestation deadline will extend to February 2015. The same rule applies for 2015 and later. What this means is that you should not wait to implement an EHR and be a meaningful user until 2015. You must begin your first 90-day reporting period no later than July 3, 2014. (…..more at ARRA and HITECH Act Resource Center )
“America needs to move much faster to adopt information technology in our health care system…Electronic health information will provide a quantum leap in patient power, doctor power, and effective health care. We can’t wait any longer…Health information technology can improve quality of care and reduce medical errors, even as it lowers administrative costs. It has the potential to produce savings of 10 percent of our total annual spending on health care, even as it improves care for patients and provides new support for health care professionals…This plan sorts out the myriad of issues involved in achieving the benefits of health information technology, and it lays out a coherent direction for reaching our goals.”
- Tommy Thompson, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary
The government is very serious in ensuring the EMR mandate runs properly. In addition to large amount of incentive fund that has been issued by the Federal, at the college level has began to be held a lot of programs that aim to create professionals in the field of health information technology and management.