As the manager of a medical practice or clinic that serves Medicare and/ or Medicaid patients, you need to be familiar with Meaningful Use, attestation and Electronic Health Records (EHR) certified technology to be compliant with the CMS’s Medicare and Medicaid Incentive program requirements. Failure to correctly follow the numerous criteria, such as core and menu measures, can result in failure to qualify for incentive payment, or an audit or demand for reimbursement of a previous incentive payment.
What is Meaningful Use?
‘Meaningful Use’ is a term describing the Eligible Professional (EP) or eligible hospital’s ‘meaningful use’ of certified EHR technology, as with electronic health records, designed for better patient care. It’s not sufficient to possess the technology – it must be in actual use. Meaningful use objectives include a ‘core set’ and a ‘menu set’ of objectives which apply to specific care providers or hospitals. For EPs, there are 24 objectives, of which 19 must be met to qualify for incentive payment.
There are 14 require core objectives, and 5 objectives selected from a menu list of 10 objectives.
In addition, there are also clinical quality measures that must be met to qualify for incentive payment.
What is meant by Attestation?
Attestation is the reporting (‘attesting’) by Medicare-Eligible Professionals and hospitals of their meaningful use of certified EHR technology, using a module developed by CMS for that purpose. (Medicaid EPs and hospitals will need to attest through their state Medicaid agency.) Attestation is by its nature a legal statement guaranteeing that the core as well as menu objectives have been met for payment.
How can you register on behalf of a care provider?
The CMS lets the Eligible Professional permit a third party (that’s you) to register as well as submit attestation documentation on the behalf of the EP. To do so, you will need to open an account with the Identity and Access Management System (I&A) with a User ID and Password, as well as be affiliated with that provider’s National Provider Identifier (NPI). Follow this link to open an account with I&A Security Check if you don’t currently have one.
Once you have made your request to CMS, you will be sent an email notice that the External user Services Help Desk has approved your request. The Eligible Professional must also log into I&A’s system and approve your request, once you have notified the EP of your request for access.
Note: With regard to Medicaid EPs, be sure to check with your state to ensure that you are familiar with what type of functionality is offered, as not all states offer the same functionality in Medicaid’s EHR Incentive Program.
Also, be aware that there is no automated email notification of I&A registration, so you will need to make a note of your Tracking Number.
For more detailed information, please refer to the CMS Medicare Registration User Guide (PDF) created by CMS to guide Eligible Professionals and other users through the registration process. Those practices participating in the CMS Medicaid EHR Incentive Program can refer to the PDF guide for EPs.
Where can you learn more?
The CMS website offers a wealth of information for practice managers and others who participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. There are specific guides for eligibility, registration and attestation requirements for both Medicare and Medicaid Eligible Professionals.
For assistance with your practice’s medical billing and documentation, M-Scribe Technologies, a leading national medical billing and documentation services company, can make your practice manager’s job easier by providing accurate compliance with cost reduction.
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