Meaningful Use Reporting & Definition

Meaningful Use Reporting & Definition

As multiple people scramble to come up with comments on the final version of “Meaningful Use” which was published earlier this week, a word of caution to my pediatric colleagues: it is imperative that you find out your STATE’s definition of meaningful use. While the federal rule is written for those who may qualify for ARRA funding under Medicare, with very few exceptions, pediatricians will only qualify for Medicaid funding. Medicaid ARRA funding is distributed through individual states, most of whom have not yet published their final definition.

While many of the general principles will apply for both, it is likely that different states will require distinctly different reporting metrics. There is no rush. If you plan to apply for funding, it is important to make sure you are aware of any unique reports specific to your state. For pediatrics, the first year of funding only requires self attestation that you are buying/upgrading/implementing a certified EHR which you are moving toward “using meaningfully.”

Some of the reporting metrics will mean that practices will have to start collecting information which is not part of their current work flow. For example, the final federal rule states that “more than 50% of patients aged 13 years and older have smoking status recorded as structured data.” One exciting aspect of the final rule is that it mandates “submission of electronic immunization date to immunization registries or immunization information systems.” In my opinion,this is the first step in moving toward real-time, bi-directional exchange of immunization information, a key component of pediatric HIT functionality and one that pediatricians should champion as we move forward. Should be an interesting year.