Deadline Approaches to Register and Attest to Meaningful Use
The word ‘deadline’ is aptly constructed. It usually means the death of an opportunity. This is especially true in the world of the CMS EHR Incentive Programs. For both Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals one of these is fast approaching. November 30, 2011 is the last day for them to register and attest to demonstrating meaningful use for the required 90 day reporting period and receive Medicare incentives for 2011.
This 90 day period must have begun no later July 30, 2011. If these groups miss the November 30 deadline they will be out of luck, as they will have missed the opportunity for the 2011 Medicare incentives. CMS has provided ample documentation to help prepare for attestation. This includes an Attestation Worksheet as well as an Attestation User Guide. Many of the EHs and CAHs are planning for their initial year in the CMS EHR Incentive Program to be 2012 or later but it is not too early to start looking at the CMS Registration Guide for Eligible Hospitals.
Deadlines have a tendency to creep up on an organization unless someone is tasked with tracking them. You might want to print out the CMS Milestone Timeline and keep it handy.
Jim Tate is a nationally recognized expert on the CMS EHR Incentive Program, certified technology and meaningful use and author of The Incentive Roadmap® The Meaningful Use of Certified Technology: Stage 1.