Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Meaningful Use Final Matrix Posted

HHS has issued proposed final regulations that list the "meaningful use" criteria which healthcare providers must meet in order to quality for the HITECH incentive payments. This story from Health Data Management has a good breakdown of the Matrix, starting on page 26:
http://digital.healthdatamanagement.com/healthdatamanagement/201002?pg=6#pg26

Quick impression is that the bar is set low in some areas, but higher in other areas. Also, it is not fully clear how to fulfill the criteria. For example, one "box" says to have drug-drug interaction checking (which is pretty routine), but in the same box it says to also have drug-formulary checking... that is much more complex, and involves extra fees to the EMR vendor, as well as an assumption that the system allows for input of a patient's drug benefit plan (which is often different from their insurance).

Other confusing things include allowing patients "timely access" to their healthcare data, and something that says "Reminder sent to at least 50% of all unique patients seen by the EP that are age 50 or over" - reminder about what exactly, and does it matter how/when/where we remind them? But it's a start and I assume there is clarification in the other 553 pages of this document, but I'm just looking at the Matrix for now.

Other good links
* Dr. Blumenthal's summary of all the HITECH monies are going:
http://healthcarereform.nejm.org/?p=2669

* MU summary from Mr. HISTalk:
http://histalk2.com/2009/12/30/onchit-releases-preliminary-definition-of-meaningful-use/

* An MU Excel Spreadsheet created by Mr. HISTalk:
http://drop.io/meaningfuluse/asset/meaningful-use-xls

* Dr. John Halamka's MU Summary:
http://geekdoctor.blogspot.com/2010/01/achieving-meaningful-use.html

* Matrix of Numerators and Denominators
http://mycourses.med.harvard.edu/ec_res/nt/36980CA6-E154-4820-A0ED-8B235138B79F/measures.pdf

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