Sustaining your Meaningful Use Strategy

In this month’s post, we discuss the final phase of the 10-step approach to achieving meaningful use and discuss the requirements for sustaining your strategy through online registration with CMS, regular compliance monitoring, and the reporting period attestation process.

Step 8: Registering Online With CMS. After obtaining your certified technology, each EP needs to register online using the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs Registration and Attestation System. Registration must be completed prior to submitting MU attestation. Even though registration and attestation can occur at the same time, it is advisable not to wait until your practice is ready to attest to register for the program. While an EP can register prior to possessing all necessary certified EHR technology, this information is required before an EP can attest. Registration can be completed on the CMS website (register.theMUguide.com).

Step 9: Monitoring Your MU Compliance Regularly. Once you have your MU infrastructure up and running, you will need to monitor your compliance regularly against each EP’s incentive program requirements. This includes implementing a tracking mechanism or dashboard and monitoring individual EP and group-level statuses. The supplier of your certified EHR technology will provide compliance dashboards for your group. In the case of a modular approach to MU, you may be required to implement a third-party solution that aggregates the data from individual systems.

Step 10: Attesting Online With CMS. Attestation, or the process of legally telling CMS that an EP has demonstrated meaningful use of certified EHR technology, is the final step. Attestation is conducted using the same system that is used for registration — see Step 8. Prior to attesting as an EP under the Medicare program, an EP should ensure completion of these steps: 1) determine his or her eligibility to participate in the Medicare program; 2) successfully register for the Medicare program on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs Registration System; 3) meet the required number of core set, menu set, and clinical quality measures; and 4) record meeting MU criteria for the appropriate time period.

Ready to learn more, buy the book today!

Go to http://www.theMUguide.com to learn more. Buy the book from the official e-store (http://buy.theMUguide.com) or Amazon.com (http://amazon.theMUguide.com).

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Executing your Meaningful Use Strategy

In this month’s post, we discuss the third phase of the 10-step approach to achieving meaningful use and discuss techniques for executing your strategy through planning your technological and operational strategies and acquiring and implementing certified technology.

Step 6: Planning Your MU Technological and Operational Strategies. This is the point at which you begin to spend money and implement your strategy, but it is also the period when the improvements may impact your existing workflow and processes. As a result, this is the first time in the process that you may want to seek consultative assistance, which can help with budget preparation, workflow documentation, technical specifications and analysis, connectivity and data exchange, defining vendor and technology requirements, and reviewing your existing IT infrastructure. In addition to consultants, regional extension centers (RECs) have been established to help EPs as they tackle MU. (A list of RECs can be found at recs.theMUguide.com). While the RECs primarily provide assistance to eligible primary care providers in smaller practices, these centers are also a resource for all providers in a given geographic region.

Step 7: Acquiring and Implementing Certified EHR Technology. Once you have determined your operational and technological requirements, you may need to acquire or implement certified EHR technology to comply with program requirements not satisfied by your existing technology. For example, you may consider potential upgrades or add-ons to your RIS, PACS, practice management system, or any other IT platform that may be used as an EHR. Also, implementing an MU dashboard can help your group view and track all of your individual EP MU measures to ensure ongoing compliance.

Ready to learn more, buy the book today!

Go to http://www.theMUguide.com to learn more. Buy the book from the official e-store (http://buy.theMUguide.com) or Amazon.com (http://amazon.theMUguide.com).

Developing your Meaningful Use Strategy

In this month’s post, we discuss the second phase of the 10-step approach to achieving meaningful use and discuss techniques for developing your strategy by meeting with your practice stakeholders and radiology IT vendors.

Step 4: Meeting With Your Practice Stakeholders. Perform an analysis of your existing imaging IT environment and meet with the MU stakeholders at your organization. Conducting an infrastructure analysis and working with others at your practice will ensure that the necessary plans are in place to be successful on your journey toward MU.

Step 5: Meeting With Your Radiology IT Vendors. At this point, you should be ready to meet with your existing radiology IT vendors and the potential IT partners that will help you achieve MU to discuss any technological requirements.

Ready to learn more, buy the book today!

Go to http://www.theMUguide.com to learn more. Buy the book from the official e-store (http://buy.theMUguide.com) or Amazon.com (http://amazon.theMUguide.com).

Preparing for Meaningful Use

In this month’s post, we discuss the first phase of the 10-step approach to achieving meaningful use and discuss recommendations for understanding program fundamentals, determining your eligibility, and assessing the financial impact.

Step 1: Understanding the Fundamentals of MU. Success begins with an understanding of the fundamentals. Build your knowledge by visiting the government program website (cms.theMUguide.com), attending lectures, reading articles, listening to podcasts, participating in tradeshows, or browsing the nearly 1,000 pages of regulations (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-17207.pdf).

Step 2: Determining Your Eligibility and Financial Impact. Most U.S. radiologists are considered eligible professionals under the Medicare version of the incentive program. Regardless, it’s a good idea to review your practice setting and group billing history to determine your incentive program eligibility and to conduct a MU analysis using your group’s practice and individual “eligible professionals” (EPs) data. Preparing an analysis before developing a strategy not only helps you to better understand the impact of the incentive programs on your practice, but it also provides a baseline for internal and external MU discussions and planning. Use the tools at analyze.theMUguide.com to assist with this process.

Step 3: Determining Your MU Measure Requirements. The incentive program is based on individual eligible professionals (EPs), so all radiologists at your practice may not have the same MU requirements. As a result, you need to review the individual exclusion opportunities for each radiologist. This assessment will prove invaluable in determining which of the incentive program’s 25 objectives and measures that your practice will need to perform and demonstrate to achieve MU. (Your group can claim exclusions for several measures based on whether EPs meet exclusion criteria.)

Ready to learn more, buy the book today! 

Go to http://www.theMUguide.com to learn more. Buy the book from the official e-store (http://buy.theMUguide.com) or Amazon.com (http://amazon.theMUguide.com).