Physicians and hospitals each have a list of objectives to qualify for subsidies. For physicians, the goals include:

  • Incorporate at least 50 percent of all lab tests in the electronic medical record (EM).
  • Use the EMR to send preventive care reminders to at least half of all patients over age 50.
  • Record and chart vital signs for all patients over age 2, including blood pressure and BMI.
  • Maintain a list of medications prescribed to 80 percent of all patients.
  • Generate patient lists by condition, such as hypertension, for quality improvement.
  • Make sure that at least 80 percent of patients can obtain their electronic health records within 48 hours.
  • Check insurance eligibility for at least 80 percent of all patients.
  • Implement five clinical decision-support rules that are a high clinical priority.
  • Submit at least 80 percent of all claims to public and private payers electronically.
  • Provide at least 10 percent of all patients timely access to electronic health records.
  • Provide clinical summaries for at least 80 percent of all patient visits.
  • Use CPOE systems for 80 percent of all prescriptions.

For a full list of goals for physicians and hospitals, go to the www.federalregister.gov web site or use this direct link: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/E9-31217.htm.

Source: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.

Physicians who demonstrate the required use for 90 days in 2011 can qualify for the first of several promised payments. In subsequent years they must demonstrate meeting the meaningful use rules for all 12 months. The way these payments are arranged, a doctor can actually start in either 2011 or 2012 and under the federal schedule still qualify for the full $44,000 in subsidies available per physician.

Key Impacts on Health Care Providers By Category

While the feral government wants to speed along adoption, providers will be challenged to grapple with some of the issues below:

  • Staff Education & Training
  • BusinessProcess Analysis of Health Plan Contracts
  • Coverage Determinations, & Documentation
  • Changes to Superbills
  • IT System Changes
  • Increased Documentation Costs
  • Cash Flow Disruption
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