What’s Next for Meaningful Use?

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“We’re proposing today to replace meaningful use in the physician office,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said during a recent media call.

With what? Something called “Advancing Care Information.”

whats next meaningful use

According to a CMS document, “The proposal for Advancing Care Information is designed to simplify requirements, support patient care, and be flexible to meet the needs of physician practices.”

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Advancing Care Information is part of MACRA, or the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act. The purpose of MACRA is to tie more of Medicare’s payment to physicians to performance. According to the Heathcare Economist, the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is part of MACRA.

“The MIPS program rates providers along four dimensions: clinical quality, resource use, health IT meaningful use and clinical practice improvement activities (CPIA).”

What’s required for Advancing Care Information points?

According to CMS, “Physicians and other clinicians must use certified EHR technology.”

“The overall Advancing Care Information score would be made up of a base score and a performance score for a maximum score of 100 points.”

If you want to offer CMS information on how you use your EHR, you should emphasize interoperability and information exchange.

Immunization registry reporting is required. This means you have to be in “active engagement with a public health agency” about immunizations.

When does it start?

“The first performance period for Advancing Care Information is proposed to be from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.”

Base score

You can score up to 50 “base” points. You do this by answering “yes” to the following questions.

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The only one that’s required is the first one, Protect Patient Health Information.

Performance score

You can score up to 80 “performance” points.

Miscellaneous score

Providers can earn one additional point for reporting to other public health registries beyond the immunization category.

Providers can earn more than 100 points total. Adding up the base score, performance score, and bonus point (if applicable) can equal up to 131 points.

Providers who earn 100 points or more can receive the full 25 points towards the MIPS score in the Advancing Care Information category. But it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Providers who earn less than 100 points still benefit.

Conclusion

There are still a lot of unanswered questions. What will EHRs have to do to become “certified?” It’s also unclear what the rewards will be for scoring points. But it is clear that it will be important to consider “Advancing Care Information” as you make decisions on which EHR to invest in.

Where do you go to keep up with “Advancing Care Information?” Let me know in the comments.

Looking for Medical Practice Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Medical Practice Management software solutions.

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Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a former Capterra analyst.

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