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Ask an Advisor about “Meaningful-Use”

Do dentists qualify for “meaningful use” incentives under ARRA?

By Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive Director]

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13 Responses

  1. Hi Ann,

    Ask your readers to take a look at this link:

    Click to access arra_summary.pdf



  2. Definition of Meaningful Use

    According to HIMSS ….

    Click to access HIMSS_Meaningfuluse_definition.pdf



  3. August 2009 CCHIT recommendations for meaningful use:

    1. ePrescribing
    2. Sending reminders to patients
    3. Checking insurance eligibility
    4. Submitting e-claims
    5. Electronic copy of patient records
    6. Patients e-access to their e-records
    7. Clinical information exchange by providers-patient authorized entities
    8. Submit data to immunization registries
    9. Provide syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies



  4. Has CCHIT’s role as definer of the term “meaningful use” been downgraded by David Blumenthal?



  5. Launch

    By October 1, 2011, a provider will have to prove they have used data in a meaningful way the year prior in order to receive a bonus.



  6. Remember, the clock starts ticking on a two-month window in which to comment on the Health & Human Service Department’s “meaningful use” proposals for eHRs.



  7. Dr. Larry Emmott and I meet again

    Today, Dr. Larry Emmott posted this quote on his Emmott on Technology, LLC Facebook:

    The Rules

    “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. – Bill Gates”


    Here is my response:

    Bill Gates’ Rules applied to digital dental records

    Bill Gates is a smart man, and he has certainly witnessed how badly eHRs are going for physicians. You aren’t still encouraging naïve dentists to switch from safe and inexpensive paper records, are you, Dr. Emmott?

    “Meeting the 25 meaningful-use criteria required to receive the financial incentives contained in the federal stimulus law will result in reduced physician productivity, according to 67.9% of those who responded to a Medical Group Management Association member survey released March 4.” – ModernHealthcare.com article “Meaningful use will slow docs down: MGMA survey” by Andis Robeznieks / HITS staff writer, 3/5/10


    It’s no secret that digital dental records are difficult to sell. Dentists desire eHRs even less than physicians who HHS bribes with our grandchildren’s stimulus dollars to purchase only CCHIT-certified products. The fact is, even with CCHIT-certification, current eHRs must be de-installed far too often because of poor design and inferior quality. In addition, as under-funded eHR vendors go bankrupt, early-adopting physicians will find themselves having to de-install expensive eHRs that cease to be supported – about the same time the stimulus money runs out.

    Even though in our previous discussion about eHRs, you hastily discounted the liability of data breaches from office computers to “almost zero cost,” I still strongly disagree, and continue to maintain that fumbled patients’ health information will bankrupt dentists even before the HIPAA fines are assessed. In addition, dentists can forget about any stimulus money because HHS hasn’t begun to assemble “meaningful use” criteria for eHRs in dentistry.

    Market forces in the still competitive dentalcare industry continue to prove that a return on investment in eDRs is impossible for solo dental practices – the majority of practices in the US. I don’t want to tell you how to run your business, but if you haven’t already done so, you should probably advise your readers to delay purchasing digital dental record systems for a year or so.

    I think Bill Gates has learned by now that sharing health information is the goal, and digital is only a tool – not the other way around.

    D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS


  8. Dr. Emmott chose to delete my comment from his company’s Facebook. What do you think that means?

    D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS


  9. Docs Pressing CMS on Meaningful Use

    To facilitate meaningful use of electronic health records, the CMS should abandon its all-or-nothing approach to awarding financial incentives, eliminate goals and measures that don’t directly apply to EHR adoption, and widen the eligibility for certain hospital-based physicians, according to a letter sent to acting CMS Administrator Charlene Frizzera. The letter was signed by the American Medical Association and 95 other state and specialty medical societies.

    The 37-page letter stated that “physicians are deeply supportive and committed to incorporating well-developed eHRs into their practices,” but the “aggressive” criteria included in the proposed requirements for federal eHR-investment subsidies will deter many physicians from participating in the incentive program, which was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

    “Encouraging physician adoption of health IT, especially small physician practices, is critical to ensuring widespread EHR use,” the letter concluded. “Unrealistic timelines and criteria will only serve to undermine this effort.”

    Source: Andis Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare [3/15/10]


  10. HHS Sends Final Meaningful-Use Rules to OMB for Review

    HHS has sent its final meaningful-use rules and certification criteria for electronic health-record system testing to the Office of Management and Budget—typically one of the last bureaucratic hurdles before rules are released. The criteria are called for under the EHR subsidy program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

    Under the Medicare provisions of the stimulus law, to receive an estimated $14 billion to $27 billion in federal subsidies for EHR purchases, hospitals and qualifying office-based physicians must use certified EHRs in a “meaningful manner.”

    Source: Joseph Conn, Modern Healthcare [7/6/10]


  11. Consequences of Not Advancing to Stage II

    What happens if I stop attesting for meaningful use this year, even though I have attested for Stage I over the last three years? I do not want to advance to Stage II either because of the expense in doing so or I just do not think it is worth it in the long run?

    Joseph Borreggine DPM
    Charleston, IL

    Response: There will be penalties if you do not continue to attest to meaningful use each year. Penalties for meaningful use start in 2015 (1%) and are scheduled to increase 1% per year to reach a maximum of either 5% or 3% of your total Medicare payments (e.g. if you earn $100,000 from Medicare, you will be penalized $3,000-$5,000). The maximum percentage depends on the number of eligible providers that achieve meaningful use (starting in 2018). If 75% or more are meaningful users, the penalty is 3% max. If less than 75% are meaningful users, then the penalty is 5% max.

    Of course, all of this may change depending on passage of the SGR fix and how they incorporate MU into that. More information can be found on the APMA website at apma.org in the archived webinars.

    Jim Christina, DPM
    Director Scientific Affairs APMA
    via March 03, PMNews 2014 #5,002


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