in HIPAA Headlines by John Brewer

I just read an article titled “Most Docs Won’t Qualify for EHR ‘Meaningful Use'”.

This article states that …”two-thirds plan to apply or have already applied for meaningful use incentives….”

Planning to apply and having already applied are two different animals.

I’ve planned to clean my desk for years, but my wife keeps reminding me that I haven’t.
I plan to floss every day…but that doesn’t happen.

Until an office has applied, more correctly – attested, for meaningful use…it hasn’t happened.

Attesting is “declaring to be correct”.
Applying is “making a request”.

These two terms have entirely different legal ramifications.

The article goes on to reference that “Among physicians who had already applied or intended to apply for incentives, 27% had EHR systems capable of supporting 13 of the Stage 1 core objectives for meaningful use, which is an overestimate of the percentage meeting the 2012 requirements,”

If you can not meet all 15 Core items, or be exempt from some of them…why would you attest?

If a doc is attesting, yet can’t pass, that is poor planning on their part. There is no reason, for an office to attest and not pass.
You know what is required ahead of time…
You can look and see if you meet the requirements…ahead of time…
With this being the case, whey would you attest if you don’t meet the requirements?
That makes no sense.

I’m also curious which of the 2 Core Items a MU certified EHR can’t pass.  The survey does not give any details.
If an EHR can’t meet the requirements, it shouldn’t be MU certified.

My gut tells me Core Items #4 (eRX) and #15 (Risk Assessment) are the items they make reference to.
#4 typically requires an add-on module.
#15 can’t be accomplished by the EHR. It is an actual risk assessment, not the software handing out a gold star.

The big problem is this: the Doc knows that attesting is needed to get that first Meaningful Use check, yet the Doc is typically too busy to deal with it.  So the task gets handed over to the practice manager.  Guess what, your practice manager is also too busy and typically puts it to the side until you ask if you got the check yet.  Then they panic and try to attest in a hurried manner.  This tends to lead to taking short cuts, and when the auditor shows up, things will get ugly.

My suggestion Docs…is to be a key player in your process of attesting.  You’ll learn a lot about your practice during the process.

 

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