The quality provisions within meaningful use data gathering may be complex, but that is to be expected, Metzger says. "Given the orientation of the program as an investment in improving health care, the inclusion of quality reporting in meaningful use is not surprising," they write. "In a health system or medial group, a careful analysis of quality reporting must precede final decisions about how to approach Stage 1 meaningful use for EPs (eligible professionals)."
Metzger says that while she is not predicting how physician practices may be impacted by the meaningful use quality requirements, she notes there is enough complexity in the requirements that should make physicians be concerned and take notice.
In December, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released documents shedding light on what physicians and hospitals must do to qualify for EHR incentive payments under the HIECH Act. To quality for incentives, physicians and hospitals must be using "certified EHR technology" in a "meaningful manner." Enrolment for the meaningful use incentives began January 3, 2011.