Nextech Named 2024 Best in KLAS: Ambulatory Specialty EHR

«  View All Posts


Meaningful Use: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions (Part I)

By: Samantha McAlister | November 5th, 2015

Meaningful Use: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions (Part I) Blog Feature

Last week we held a webinar intended to help with your Meaningful Use process: Troubleshooting Your Meaningful Use Reports.

Unsurprisingly, many of you had several questions regarding Meaningful Use as we understand that this can be a complicated process at times. To help make your attestation process easier, we've answered the most frequently asked Meaningful Use questions and have split it up into a four-part series.Untitled_design

Our hope is that this can be a resource for your practice moving forward in your Meaningful Use attestation, no matter which stage you're currently at.

Meaningful Use FAQ Part 1

  1. Regarding the requirements for reminders, are you still able to report if you are not using Nextech for the reminder system?
  • Answer: You do not have to use Nextech for your reminders in order to be compliant with Meaningful Use. We encourage you to keep doing your reminders because they are important to patient care, but they are no longer a measured objective in the new Modified Stage 2 Objectives.
  1. Public Health Reporting – I’m assuming Florida Cancer Data Registry applies?
  • Answer: Yes, the Florida Cancer Data Registry would meet this requirement
  1. Will everyone do Stage 2 until 2018 and then everyone is Stage 3?
  • Answer: That is correct, everyone, regardless of when you started participating in the Meaningful Use program, will be attesting to the Modified Stage 2 Objectives until 2018 when Stage 3 will begin for everyone.
  1. I was scheduled for Stage 1 in 2015 – what reporting should I be running?
  • Answer:  Since everyone needs to fulfill the Modified Stage 2 objectives in 2015, you should use the Stage 2 report.  You do not need to report all of the measures listed since CMS removed the percentage requirements for some.  However, you can still refer to part of your Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports to ensure compliance within your office for the measures no longer reportable but still necessary for other objectives.
  1. Will we need to update Nextech to reflect the updated requirements or work off the existing reports that we have always pulled?
  • Answer: Nextech will not be updating the Meaningful Use reports until Stage 3. The changes to the objectives did not change the way the measures calculate, so you will not need an upgrade.
  1. We are in Ophthalmology. Do we have to report on Flu shots?
  • Answer: If Flu shots are outside the scope of your practice, you can take the exclusion and opt out of reporting for this objective.
  1. If we give patient login information for patient portal, and they don’t login, do we still get penalized?
  • Answer: The requirement that correlates to this is Objective 8, part 2. In 2015 and 2016, you only need 1 patient to access the patient portal and view their clinical summary. In 2017, this threshold will move to 5% rather than just 1 patient. So, as long as you meet the thresholds each year, you will not be penalized.
  1. Our office was told that we did not have to do the summaries of care because we do not refer normally to another physician. Is this true?
  • Answer: A summary of care has to be provided for a transition of care on 10% of transitioned patients IF you transition more than 100 patients during your reporting period. If not, you can be excluded from this measure.
  1. Is direct message still a requirement for MU? If so how can we meet this criteria if our referring physicians don’t have direct messaging?
  • Answer: Direct message is absolutely still a requirement and it will only become more important as we progress with Meaningful Use andinteroperability. In the new modified stage 2 objectives, this is Objective 5 and the summaries are sent electronically through Direct Message (Nextech has partnered with Secure Exchange Solutions to provide Direct Message functionality in theNextech software). If you refer out more than 100 patients during the reporting period, you should be providing the summary of care for the transition and 10% of those summaries are to be sent via Direct Message.
    • Direct Message is also required for Objective 8, Patient Electronic Access: More than 50 percent of all unique patients seen by the EP during the EHR reporting period are provided timely (available to the patient within 4 business days after the information is available to the EP) online access to their health information, with the ability to view, download, and transmit to a third party. Patient electronic access measures requires the patients to have the ability to view, download, and transmit their health information.  The transmit definition says, “Any means of electronic transmission according to any transport standard(s) (SMTP, FTP, REST, SOAP, etc.).  However, the relocation of physical electronic media (for example, USB, CD) does not qualify as transmission although the movement of the information from online to the physical electronic media will be a download.”  Therefore, if direct messaging is removed the patient will be unable to transmit their health information and this measure would be failed.

Please stay tuned for parts two and three over the next week.