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Tips for 2015 Changes to Meaningful Use Attestation

By Fran Clark, VITL eHealth Specialist

Whether you are attesting for Stage 1 or Stage 2, start the year off strong by being prepared for significant changes to Meaningful Use. Key changes that may affect your ability to attest to Meaningful Use in 2015 include:

1.  Stricter EHR certification requirements

In 2015, EHR certification requirements are stricter. You now must use 2014 Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) in order to meet MU requirements. However, the EHR certification process has been increasingly difficult for many health IT vendors to navigate. So, if your current IT vendor cannot meet the 2014 CEHRT requirements, you will not qualify for MU. Therefore, you should verify that your current system meets the 2014 EHR Certification requirements. Certified products are listed on the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL).

2.  Growing complexity between stages

As you transition between the different stages of MU, the requirements become more complex and harder to achieve. Some objectives have a minimum threshold requirement. Other measures require a specific action to be taken, or new functionality to be enabled in your EHR. Review the objectives for the stages you are currently aiming to achieve. All Medicare eligible professionals that attested for MU in 2014 will need to report for a full year starting in 2015.

3.  Enforced payment reduction

As the requirements for Meaningful Use increase between the two stages and become more difficult, many Medicare eligible professionals may face penalties starting in 2015.

All Eligible Professionals who do not demonstrate MU are subject to payment adjustments starting January 1, 2015. Only providers with an approved hardship exception are exempt. Payment reductions start at one percent and increase each year, up to a maximum of five percent. If you've already started the program, then you must continue with the program to avoid these penalties as well.

Attesting to Meaningful Use in 2015 will be harder than ever before. The EHR certification requirements, coupled with the differences between MU Stage 1 and MU Stage 2, and the threat of looming penalties may leave you feeling overwhelmed. If you are in need of additional support, or have questions regarding the changes to MU for 2015, reach out to your VITL eHealth specialist who can provide support and additional information to you and your practice.

Contact VITL at ehealth@vitl.net for more information or assistance.