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Eligible Professionals: Stage 1 Meaningful
Use Overview

If you have any questions about when to perform Stage 1 Meaningful Use, review the Meaningful Use Timelines. Timelines are available to help providers plan their preferred pathways for program participation.

To achieve Stage 1 Meaningful Use, eligible professionals (EPs) must successfully attest to meaningful use measures that draw from the use of certified EHR technology. The criteria describe implemented functions of EHR systems as well as the calculation of patient-related data that can be reported by the EHR systems.

EPs are required to achieve Stage 1 Meaningful Use in the two payment years following the adoption, implementation, or upgrading of certified EHR technology. For an EP’s first year achieving meaningful use, or Payment Year 2 following adoption, implementation, or upgrading (A/I/U) in Payment Year 1, meaningful use is reported for any 90 consecutive days in the calendar year. The second year of meaningful use requires that the full calendar year serve as the reporting period. (If the second year of Stage 1 Meaningful Use is in 2014, only a 90 day reporting period is required before progressing to Stage 2 in 2015.) The shorter 90 day requirement for the first year of Stage 1 is valuable in providing time to EPs to adapt clinical workflows and improve practices to achieve the meaningful use objectives in preparation for an uninterrupted reporting period of one year.

Familiarity with the meaningful use criteria is fundamental to successful attestation as achieving the objectives requires prudent planning. The criteria for Stage 1 Meaningful Use are described in three parts: core measures, menu measures, and clinical quality measures. Below are links to the individual webpages for the measures, featuring technical and practice resources for meeting and attesting to meaningful use. In addition to understanding the individual measures, preparation for meaningful use involves learning about the principles that apply to the calculation of each of the measures as well as unique considerations for certain providers: see below.

EPs must attest to numerators, denominators, and exclusions (where applicable) to achieve meaningful use with certified EHR technology (CEHRT).  Learn more about the considerations for these calculations according to CEHRT functionality and upgrades, the EP’s scope of practice, and the EP’s practice setting(s) by visiting the MU preparation pages in the link above. As you review these pages, be sure to check out the new video on overcoming common challenges to achieving Stage 1 Meaningful Use!  

EPs pursuing meaningful use in 2012 must attest to each of the 15 core measures, though exclusions can be claimed on certain measures. For EPs pursuing meaningful use in 2013 and beyond, the number of core measures has been reduced to 13 although one of the removed objectives (clinical quality measures) remains an aspect of meaningful use. Learn more about each of the measures by visiting the core measures pages in the link above.

EPs must choose five of the ten menu measures, including one public health measure. Learn more about each of the measures by visiting the menu measures pages in the link above.

For Payment Years 2012 and 2013, EPs must attest to the three core clinical quality measures, or if those are inapplicable, the three alternate core measures. EPs must additionally choose three additional measures from the list of 38. Beginning in 2014, EPs--regardless of stage--will transition to reporting on a different set of CQMs, choosing nine from a list of 64. Please choose the appropriate link for your planning.

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If you have any questions or concerns about meaningful use after viewing these webpages, please e-mail