CMS Publishes an Updated Q & A about Attesting with Multiple EHRs

 

First pocket programmable calculator

Question:  For the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, how should an eligible professional (EP), eligible hospital, or critical access hospital (CAH) that sees patients in multiple practice locations equipped with certified EHR technology calculate numerators and denominators for the meaningful use objectives and measures? 

 

 Answer:  EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs should look at the measure of each meaningful use objective to determine the appropriate calculation method for individual numerators and denominators.  The calculation of the numerator and denominator for each measure is explained in the July 28, 2010 final rule (75 FR 44314).

For objectives that require a simple count of actions (e.g., number of permissible prescriptions written, for the objective of “Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically (eRx)”; number of patient requests for an electronic copy of their health information, for the objective of “Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information”; etc.), EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs can add the numerators and denominators calculated by each certified EHR system in order to arrive at an accurate total for the numerator and denominator of the measure.

 

For objectives that require an action to be taken on behalf of a percentage of “unique patients” (e.g., the objectives of “Record demographics”, “Record vital signs”, etc.), EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs may also add the numerators and denominators calculated by each certified EHR system in order to arrive at an accurate total for the numerator and denominator of the measure. Previously CMS had advised providers to reconcile information so that they only reported unique patients. However, because it is not possible for providers to increase their overall percentage of actions taken by adding numerators and denominators from multiple systems, we now permit simple addition for all meaningful use objectives.

 

Keep in mind that patients whose records are not maintained in certified EHR technology will need to be added to denominators whenever applicable in order to provide accurate numbers.

 

To report clinical quality measures, EPs who practice in multiple locations that are equipped with certified EHR technology should generate a report from each of those certified EHR systems and then add the numerators, denominators, and exclusions from each generated report in order to arrive at a number that reflects the total data output for patient encounters at those locations. To report clinical quality measures, eligible hospitals and CAHs that have multiple systems should generate a report from each of those certified EHR systems and then add the numerators, denominators, and exclusions from each generated report in order to arrive at a number that reflects the total data output for patient encounters in the relevant departments of the eligible hospital or CAH (e.g., inpatient or emergency department (POS 21 or 23)).

 

Website Update

 

Please also note that the EHR Incentive Programs’ FAQs were reorganized during the CMS.gov website upgrade. The EHR Incentive Programs’ FAQs are now incorporated in the same page as other CMS program FAQs. To navigate the EHR Incentive Program FAQs you must go to the FAQ page, and click “Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs” on the blue navigation pane on the left-hand side. We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs? Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website.

Photo credit: Wikipedia




New HITECH Resource for Eligible Providers and Hospitals at the Virtual Extension Center

Note: I get great pleasure in finding resources for my readers, and today I have a showstopper! Carol Flagg is co-owner of HITECH Answers and is visiting Manage My Practice to announce a free resource for eligible providers and hospitals.

*******************************************************************************************

For the past two years HITECH Answers has been a vendor neutral resource for education on details of the HITECH Act.  In that time, we’ve amassed a significant library of recorded webinars for viewing, along with a body of exclusive white papers and research.

But the time for analyzing the HITECH Act has ended.  Similar to the purpose served by the 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs) , our goal is to support as much as we can the process of adoption of a certified EHR system that meets meaningful use criteria.  Given the sheer number of health care providers needing significant help and guidance through this process, we have transitioned our existing web-based subscription model to function as a Virtual Extension Center.

This Virtual Extension Center, or VEC, supports health care providers and hospitals looking for education and analysis throughout the HITECH life cycle in a 100% virtual environment. In a nutshell, our VEC widens the education circle and opportunity for all Eligible Professionals and Eligible Hospitals. We’ve also made membership to our VEC completely free for EPs and EHs for the entire life cycle of the HITECH Act.

So what, exactly, is the VEC? And how does it function?

First and foremost, this newly created VEC houses all of the existing recorded training material and research accumulated over the past two years.  This information is readily accessible upon members logging on to HITECH Answers.  Here’s what has been added to round out VEC membership:

  • Meaningful Use for EPs and EHs ”“ Live webinar events hosted twice a month that focus specifically on the details for achieving Stage 1 meaningful use for EPs and EHs.
  • Upcoming live web casts on tax implications for incentives for EPs and EHs, workflow, ICD-10 migration, HIPAA security assessment, the pros and cons of SaaS, EHR contract negotiation and more.
  • Live web cast for our VEC members who are vendors and HIT consultants that address pressing topics and needs in conducting business in this industry.
  • Attendance to live webcast interviews and presentations from leading national experts.
  • Access to exclusive white papers and research found only in our VEC.
  • Direct access to independent experts to help answers your specific questions.

An obvious large part of the VEC will be our live events. We debut our event offerings with these two important topics ”“ Meaningful Use for Specialists and EHR Contract Negotiations.

Meaningful Use for Specialists ”“ Qualifying for CMS EHR Incentives

January 18, 2011, 7 pm EST

Event summary: A first glance at the Stage 1 Core and Menu Set objectives makes sense for primary care, but what about specialists? How can Psychiatrists, Oncologists, Radiologists, Urologists, and other specialists meet the requirements and objectives outlined in CMS EHR Incentive Program? EPs that are specialists can still achieve the CMS incentives based on the flexibility that is incorporated into two primary areas: Menu Exclusions and Quality Measures.

EHR Contract Negotiations: Q & A with William O’Toole, O’Toole Law Group

January 25, 2011, 7 pm EST

Event summary: The HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is driving new technology acquisitions unlike anything seen in the healthcare information technology (HIT) sector since Y2K. Specific terms and warranties in Electronic Health Record (EHR) agreements are absolutely essential for the protection of provider customers. Competent and experienced legal advice is extremely important. Get your questions answered in this special Q & A session.

You can visit our Events Page to learn more about these sessions.

And you can learn more about qualifying for a free membership at Become A Member or you can contact me at: carol@hitechanswers.com.

************************************************************

Disclosure from Mary Pat: HITECH Answers sells my book on their site, and I am a Consulting Expert to HITECH Answers.