EHR: Top 5 things ophthalmologists should know before 2015

December 16, 2014

In 2015, physicians will have to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) to get the full benefit of the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Program. Physicians who do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will end up having a negative payment adjustment made to their Medicare reimbursement. Mark Hollis, chief executive officer of MacPractice, Lincoln, NE, breaks down the top 5 things ophthalmologists need to know about their EHR certification before Jan. 1.

Lincoln, NE-In 2015, physicians will have to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) to get the full benefit of the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Program. Physicians who do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will end up having a negative payment adjustment made to their Medicare reimbursement.

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Meaningful use has highly specific guidelines, and includes many reporting requirements that physicians need to know. Mark Hollis, chief executive officer of MacPractice, Lincoln, NE, breaks down the top 5 things ophthalmologists need to know about their EHR certification before Jan. 1.

1.

By Dec. 31, providers must have performed (first year attesters) or reviewed a Security Risk Analysis for their practice. “This Measure is perhaps the most common reason for an auditor to require a return of payment from the provider,” Hollis said. An audit can be conducted for up to 6 years after each year of attestation. 2015 is being predicted to be “the year of the audit,” he explained.

2.

On January 1 or the 1st day of business, if a provider intends to demonstrate meaningful use stage 1 2014 in their second year, they must be using a 2014 Edition Certified EHR or meaningful use stage 2 if they are in their second through fifth year.

3.

Medicaid providers who are eligible for the Medicaid program for 2014 can still purchase and upgrade to 2014 Edition Certified software by Dec. 31 to qualify for $21,250 per provider for their first year.  Only a 2014 Edition Certified (not software that is in the process of being certified) qualifies for Medicaid incentives for 2014.  In the second year of the Medicaid program, providers can choose any 90 days to demonstrate meaningful use. In subsequent years they must demonstrate meaningful use for the full year.  Providers can still begin anytime in 2015 to qualify for Medicaid program incentives, and Medicaid providers can skip a year.

 

4.

If a provider will be using a different EHR or a different version of the same EHR-especially if they used a 2011 Certified EHR for meaningful use in 2014, Hollis said they must maintain a complete back up of the 2011 Certified software and their data for at least 6 years so that they can restore to a computer in the event of an audit. Auditors have been requiring reports, screenshots, etc. The deadline for attesting for meaningful use in 2014 is February 28, 2015.

5.

There is still a benefit to Medicare providers who demonstrate meaningful use of a 2014 Edition Certified EHR for 90 days of 2015 and for whom 2015 will be their first year. Although they cannot qualify for government incentives, they can reduce Medicare penalties in 2016.