Meaningful Use Mondays – What’s a Patient for Meaningful Use Reporting?

To successfully demonstrate meaningful use, providers must report on all patients, regardless of payer.

The government describes the program as “payer-neutral” as it applies to patients. Even though providers elect to pursue incentives under either Medicare or Medicaid, they must meaningfully use their EHR in the same manner, and report the same data, for their entire patient population—private and self-pay patients, as well as those who are government-insured. While the descriptions of many of the meaningful use measures define their respective numerators and denominators as a subset of the provider’s patients, these distinctions are based on factors totally independent of payer status.

It is interesting that the government can impose requirements related to patients for whom it is not paying the bills. This says something about the broader purpose behind the legislation.

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EMR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

About the author

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

4 Comments

  • Lynn –

    I am confused. I hope you can help.

    On the Netsmart website (http://www.ntst.com/news/pr_detail.asp?newsID=210) there is a comment “The legislation also expands Hospital Meaningful Use incentive funding eligibility to include inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and expands eligibility to include mental health treatment facilities and substance abuse treatment facilities.”

    However in the regs, 44448 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 144 / Wednesday, July 28, 2010 / Rules and Regulations states:

    The statutory definition of
    a subsection (d) hospital also does not
    apply to hospitals and hospital units
    excluded from the IPPS under section
    1886(d)(1)(B) of the Act, such as
    psychiatric, rehabilitation, long term
    care, children’s, and cancer hospitals.

    Can psychiatric hospitals received ARRA reimbursements if they use certified EHR technology? Can you clear this up for me?

  • … and then, of course, moments later it’s been cleared up for me …

    Standalone Psychiatric Hospitals are currently excluded from Hospital incentives.

    Legislation to include Standalone Psychiatric Hospitals was introduced in the 111th session of Congress, which was concluded in December. New corrective legislation must be re-introduced in the new 112th Congress, which has just convened. EHR vendors and industry groups, such as the National Association for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems and the National Association of Counties, are working collaboratively to identify potential sponsors in the House and Senate for the new legislation, as well as which provisions should be modified from the previous bills to help assure consideration and passage. More than 60 of the House bill’s co-sponsors and several of the Senate bill’s co-sponsors remain in office in the new Congress, and productive discussions have already occurred with several potential sponsors.

    I received this information from a credible source and believe it to be true.

  • My daughter has been to this place twice. This is a prison sentence not a place for them to feel better about themselves. I do understand the need for security. I do not understand them taking her off of medications without any consultation with her regular psych Dr or, even a phone call to home to ask permission on what psychotic meds you are giving my child? Unacceptable! Shame on you Aurora!!!

  • I just wanted to say that I appreciate the information you have shared on meaningful use, core and menus, etc. I appreciate the time you are taking to explain these things. It is very confusing since I am new in the role of compliance, incentives, etc. coming from the role of a transcriptionist; doctors and other staff are looking to me!
    The articles are easy to understand in a way that I don’t feel so dumb.

    Thank you.

    T. Wilson

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