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MEANINGFUL USE & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 

 

The  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, through the CMS Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs encourages Hospitals, Health Care Centers,  Primary Care Doctors, and other “eligible professionals”  to “meaningfully use” Health Information Technology  to electronically document, manage, and securely share health information between patients , clinical care teams, public health organizations, and various other healthcare related service providers.

The goals of the CMS Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) Incentive Program are to:

  • Improve patient safety and clinical outcomes;
  • Reduce cost and increase efficiencies thru ought the health care system, and;
  • Create expanded opportunities for patients to participate actively in their care.

All Federally Qualified Health Centers in New Jersey are participating in the NJ Medicaid  "Meaningful Use" EHR Incentive Program.  NJ FQHC’s have used this program to convert from their older static paper based record keeping system, to new interactive MU certified Electronic Health Records systems.

The benefits of an EHR system include:

  • Complete and Accurate Information - With an EHR system, FQHC providers have the information they need to provide the best possible care. Clinicians will know more about their patients’ health history before they walk into the examination room.
  • Better Access to Information An EHR facilitates greater access to the information that FQHC providers need to diagnose health problems earlier and improve the health outcomes of their patients. An EHR system also allows information to be shared more easily among doctors’ offices, hospitals, and across health systems, leading to better coordination of care.
  • Patient Empowerment EHR  help FQHCs empower patients to take a pro-active role in their health and in the health of their families. Patients can receive electronic copies of their medical records and share their health information securely over the Internet with their families.
  • EHRs can also flag potentially dangerous drug interactions (to help prescribing doctors explore alternatives before a problem occurs), verify medications and dosages (to ensure that pharmacists dispense the right drug and dosage), and reduce the need for potentially risky tests and procedures.

To receive an EHR incentive payment, providers have to show that they are meaningfully using their EHRs by meeting thresholds for a number of objectives. The EHR Incentive Programs are phased in three stages with increasing requirements. NJPCA along with NJ-HITECH assist NJ FQHCs to understand the Benefits of EHRs and qualify for all of Stages of “Meaningful Use “

On October 6th, 2015, CMS released rules that specify final criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. The final rule's provision encompass 2015-2017 (Modified Stage 2) as well as Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond. For a detailed overview of the new rules, visit the CMS website here. For other resources, click on the links below.

 

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New Jersey Primary Care Association

3836 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 201, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Tel: 609-689-9930 | Fax: 609-689-9940 | Email: info@njpca.org

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