Electronic health records (EHRs) are here to stay and an increasing number of physicians are making the transition to EHRs. Physicians often face the daunting task of selecting, purchasing and implementing the right EHR system for their individual practice. Ultimately, every physician needs to decide on a system that works for them.
CMA has developed the following resources to guide you through the EHR implementation process:
- CMA's Electronic Health Records Desk Reference
- CMA’s Best Practices: Successful Preparation and Implementation of an EHR System
- CMA’s Model EHR contract
- CMA On-Call document #4300, "Electronic Health Records"
- CMA On-Call document #4303, "Electronic Health Records: Selecting the Right EHR System for Your Practice."
- On Demand Webinar: "Preparing for EHR Implementation and Conversion"
This webinar reviews common pitfalls of EHR implementation, what you should insist your vendor provide, setting up files, the importance of all stakeholder involvement, the danger of scanning paper charts, and resources to support you. (Recorded April 10, 2013)
- On Demand Webinar: "EHR Selection – Top 10 Tips for Success"
This webinar is designed to teach the top 10 selection tips for a successful purchase and implementation of an EHR system. (Recorded March 20, 2013)
EHR Incentive Program
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as a part of the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, provided funding to promote the adoption and implementation of health information technology (HIT) by physicians. Under the federal EHR incentive programs, qualifying Medicare providers are eligible to receive up to $44,000 in incentives and qualifying Medi-Cal providers stand to receive as much as $65,000. To receive these payments, physicians must not only adopt EHR, but must demonstrate "meaningful use" of certified health information technology.
CMA has developed the following resources on the federal EHR incentive programs:
- CMA On-Call document #4301, "Electronic Health Records: Federal Incentive Programs"
- CMA On-Call document #4304, "Federal EHR Incentives: Reassignment of Incentive Payments"
- Medicare EHR Incentive Program
- Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program
- Medi-Cal EHR Incentives – Does your practice qualify?
- Difference Between Medicare and Medi-Cal Incentive Programs
A complete list of federally certified EHR systems is available here.
You can also find more information, register and attest to meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program on the CMS EHR Incentive website and for the Medi-Cal Incentive Program on the Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program website.
In order to receive incentives through either the Medicare or Medi-Cal program, physicians will have to demonstrate "meaningful use" of a certified EHR system. In general, meaningful use is a set of criteria on which physicians will have to report. Depending on whether physicians are participating in the Medicare or Medi-Cal program, they will either report or "attest" to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or to the California Department of Health Care Services.
For 2013, physicians will have to report on 20 objectives to achieve meaningful use – 15 mandatory "core" measures and five "menu set" items selected from a list of 10. In addition, physicians will be required to report on six clinical quality measures to achieve meaningful use. Beginning in 2014, some physicians will transition to stage 2 of meaningful use, which will have additional mandatory measures and more robust requirements around the exchange of data.
To help physicians understand the criteria for meaningful use, CMA has developed the following resources on meaningful use that includes summaries of the regulations, timelines for stage 1 and stage 2 meaningful use, and charts providing a complete list of stage 1 and stage 2 objectives and measures.
- Meaningful Use Modifications: Stage 1, 2 and 3 CMS October 2015 Final Rule
- CMA On-Call document #4302, "Meaningful Use of EHRs: Stage 1"
- CMA On-Call document #4305, "Meaningful Use of EHRs: Stage 2"
- On Demand Webinar: "HIPAA and Meaningful Use: What You Need to Do For a Legal Attestation"
This webinar helps physicians understand specific meaningful use measures and what is necessary to meet these requirements. (Recorded January 9, 2013)
Need Help with EHR Implementation?
CMA is a founding partner of the California Health Information Partnerships and Services Organization (CalHIPSO), which recently received a $31 million grant to provide education, outreach and technical assistance to help primary care providers select, implement and meaningfully use certified electronic health records. For more information, visit the CalHIPSO website.