1. Hess, Cathy Thomas BSN, RN, CWOCN

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The art and science of documentation continues to take on strategic initiatives, especially since the launch of Meaningful Use (MU). It is important to be reminded this initiative offers incentive payments and imposes penalties with the intention for providers to adopt certified electronic health record technology. On January 1, 2015, Medicare began penalizing providers who failed to comply with the MU program. Understanding the penalties, and timeframes for the penalties imposed, is critical. For example, compliance or noncompliance in 2015 impacts payments in 2017. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), starting in 2015, if you are an eligible provider and have not attested to MU of your electronic health record for 2014, penalties are set to increase by 1% yearly for the next several years, ultimately topping out at 4% ( After 2018, MU penalties will be folded into a new merit-based incentive payment system.


The CMS MU program consists of CORE and MENU SET objectives and measures, which we'll review for MU stages 1 and 2 in this and subsequent columns.1


I hope this review will assist you to move forward and comply with the CMS MU Program. Cheers to diligent documenting and strategic workflows!




1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Stage 1 vs. stage 2 comparison table for eligible professionals. Last accessed August 24, 2015. [Context Link]