The History of EHR Meaningful Use Requirements

Meaningful use requirements and the programs surrounding them played a crucial role in shifting medical services toward more patient-centric models. While meaningful use requirements aren’t as talked about in the modern era of healthcare, they played a crucial role in shaping the current landscape of value-based healthcare

Today, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about meaningful use requirements and how they’ve impacted the current healthcare climate.

What Is “Meaningful Use” and How Has It Evolved?

The Meaningful Use Incentive Program was first developed to get patients more involved with their care while driving more attention to detail from clinical staff. The idea was introduced in 2009 as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). The program was accompanied by the enactment of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). 

The program started in 2011, when its evolution began to expand across healthcare networks within the U.S. healthcare system. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established the EHR incentive program to support HITECH and ARRA, focusing on promoting the use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). 

The Meaningful Use Incentive Program consisted of the following three stages throughout its implementation:

  1. Establishing a baseline of requirements to retrieve clinical data
  2. Promoting the use of clinical data exchange within these systems
  3. Advancing clinical processes and improving existing methodology

The program encouraged the adoption of authorized EHRs through various incentives. When providers complied with meaningful use requirements, they were eligible for financial benefits.

The Importance of the MU Framework and Meeting the Requirements

Meaningful use provided a standardized way of handling and exchanging data between different healthcare professionals, from providers and other clinical staff to insurance companies and the patients themselves. The program was a core initiative that laid the foundation for current objectives in healthcare that focus on providing safe, secure access to medical information. 

The Transition of the MIPS Concept

Over time as more providers adopted authorized EHRs, the program was incorporated into MIPS, or the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, after the introduction of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). 

The MIPS concept is one of the two participation tracks within the Quality Payment Program (QPP), designed to improve service delivery for Medicaid and Medicare patients. With MIPS, providers can receive financial compensation for compiling reports utilizing data collected in EHRs. And without the initial focus on meaningful use standards and universal adoption of EHRs, MIPS reporting may not be as simple and straightforward as it is today.

Learn more about MIPS reporting here

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Benchmark EHR Aligns with Meaningful Use Standards and Makes MIPS Reporting a Breeze

At Benchmark Solutions, our team of experts has decades of experience navigating the healthcare industry as new technologies emerge. We are passionate about ensuring our solutions help providers save time and offer a better experience to their patients. We’re compliant with meaningful use standards, and you can pull MIPS reports within Benchmark EHR with ease. And as new requirements come, we’ll be ready to walk with our clients as we adapt together.

Get in touch with us today.