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Meaningful Use Overview

Announcement:  MIPS does not replace Medicaid Meaningful Use. Eligible Professionals who meet the eligibility criteria for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will continue to submit to TennCare to receive Medicaid EHR incentive payments. EPs can receive up to six incentive payments with the EHR Incentive Program through 2021. EPs that meet the eligibility criteria for MIPS/APMs and the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program can receive incentive payments from both programs but must attest to each program respectively. There are many overlaps between the ACI requirements and the EHR Incentive program requirements. The requirements for MIPS/ACI

Meaningful use (MU) is using certified EHR technology to

  • Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
  • Engage patients and families in their healthcare
  • Improve care coordination
  • Improve population and public health
  • Maintain privacy and security 

The overarching goal of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is not the mere adoption of new technology but the use of electronic health records (EHR) to systematically improve healthcare access, delivery, and quality. The HITECH Act and its associated regulations describe the application of EHR technology toward that end as "meaningful use."

Being a meaningful user indicates successful achievement of specific procedural and clinical benchmarks using certified EHR technology. Eligible Professionals (EPs) will attain meaningful use by progressing through three stages during their years of participation in the EHR Incentive Program and attesting to those achievements. Stage 1 criteria focused on capturing information electronically in a structured format, implementing clinical decision support tools, engaging patients in their healthcare, and reporting public health and quality measures. Stage 1 meaningful use has been effectively retired by CMS starting December 15, 2015.  Modified Stages 2 and Stage 3 have a greater focus on advanced clinical processes, health information exchange, and improvements in quality of care and patient access. In addition to the EHR Incentive Program, other aspects of the HITECH Act such as provisions for health information exchanges are designed to support the meaningful use of electronic health information.

Eligible providers can earn incentive payments by attesting to meaningful use Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3 objectives and measures using the Provider Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) portal. To successfully attest to Modified Stage 2 objectives and measures the EP must use EHR technology certified to the 2014 Edition. EPs using 2015 CEHRT or a combination of 2014 and 2015 CEHRT can attest to Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3 objectives and measures for Program Year 2018.  Beginning in Program Year 2017, only EPs who have previously attested to adopting, implementing, or upgrading (AIU) certified EHR technology or previously attested to MU can work toward achieving Meaningful Use for up to six years through 2021. Below are resources and information to facilitate successful attestation.  Also review the links on the left toolbar for more detail information about MU requirements.

Payment Adjustments & Hardship Information

Eligible professionals may be exempt from MEDICARE payment adjustments if they can show that demonstrating meaningful use would result in a significant hardship. To be considered for an exception, an eligible professional must complete a Hardship Exception application along with proof of the hardship. If approved, the hardship exception is valid for 1 payment year only. A new application must be submitted if the hardship continues for the following payment year. In no case may a provider be granted an exception for more than 5 years. For more information visit the CMS EHR Payment Adjustments & Hardship Information webpage.

Important Meaningful Use Information:

IPPS Final Rule 2018

OPPS/ASC Final Rule Changes for 2017 & 2018 

CMS Security Risk Analysis Tipsheet 

Health Information Exchange 2017

Public Health Reporting for EPs in 2017 

MU Requirements for Previous Years