Feds issue EMR meaningful use guidelines

January 4, 2010 by MassDevice staff

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services propose guidelines for determining meaningful use of electronic medical records by doctors' offices and hospitals.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a 556-page proposal detailing guidelines for determining which doctors' offices and hospitals will be eligible to tap nearly $20 billion in federal funds aimed at encouraging the use of electronic medical records.

Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed into law last year set aside the cash for physician practices and hospitals that can show "meaningful use" of EMR technology, but didn't spell out how such use would be determined. That left the medical industry wondering who would be eligible to collect what could amount to $40,000 per doc over the course of a few years.

The new proposal (PDF), which is open to public comment, provides some detail. But it doesn't reveal which EMR providers will be certified under the program or explain who and how those providers will be certified.

Practices and hospitals will be able to tap the ARRA funds if they meet the following criteria: