Do Specialists have to meet all meaningful use objectives?

Jim Tate, Meaningful Use Expert

Number One Question from Specialists about Meaningful Use

There are two questions from Eligible Professional specialists about the CMS EHR Incentives that I’m asked over and over again. Today, let’s answer one of them and hopefully put it to rest. “Do specialists have to meet all of the required Core Set Meaningful Use objectives? We don’t do vitals, we don’t prescribe, we don’t ______ (fill in the blank).”

The Meaningful Use tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai clearly state that: “To qualify for an incentive payment, 20 of these 25 objectives must be met. There are 15 required core objectives. The remaining 5 objectives may be chosen from the list of 10 menu set objectives.” That makes it sound like psychiatrists, chiropractors, radiologists, and other possible EPs must meet at least 20 of the objectives to be eligible for the Medicare incentives. However, that is not the case as there are exclusions available that can be claimed during attestation.

Here are the Stage 1 meaningful use objectives that can be excluded from the Core Set based on certain requirements: CPOE, eRx, Vital Signs, Smoking Status, Electronic Copy of Health Information, and Clinical Summaries. Exclusions that may be claimed from the Menu Set include: Drug Formulary Checks, Clinical Lab Test Results, Patients Reminders, Patient Electronic Access, Medication Reconciliation, Summary Care Record, Immunization Registries Data Submission, and Syndromic Surveillance Data Submission. The exclusion requirements for each objective is available at CMS. I hope that answers the question about possible exclusions.

Tune in next week where I take on the other most asked question from specialists. “If I can exclude Meaningful Use objectives, do I still have to have certified software for that module?”

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.