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Healthcare Business News

CMS develops new EHR guide for docs

By Joseph Conn
Posted: December 1, 2011 - 3:00 pm ET

The CMS has developed what it describes as a "comprehensive tool" to help guide physicians and other eligible professionals through all phases of the Medicare electronic health-record incentive payment program.

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The Web-based interactive resource, called "An Introduction to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals" (PDF) includes chapters on program basics, eligibility and registration. It also has a description of all of the Stage 1 meaningful-use criteria and advises practitioners on how to choose the optional measures they will use as part of the attestation phase of the program.

Physicians and other eligible professionals have until Dec. 31 to complete 90 consecutive days of meaningful use of a certified EHR and until Feb. 28, 2012, to report their data and attest that they have met the criteria to be deemed meaningful users in the Medicare portion of the program.

On Wednesday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the CMS would roll back by one year the deadline for compliance with what are expected to be more-stringent Stage 2 meaningful-use criteria in an effort to induce more practitioners to attest this year.

Sebelius also announced HHS would target eligible professionals who have registered for the Medicare EHR incentive payment program but have not yet attested as meaningful users with additional outreach, education and training programs to speed up EHR adoption.

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