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

By: Samantha McAlister | November 9th, 2015

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


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.

RELATED: Meaningful Use FAQ Part I

Meaningful Use FAQ Part III

1. If a physician that is wanting records uses Gmail or Yahoo as email, is that considered secure through direct messaging?
  • Answer: Gmail, Yahoo, etc. are NOT encrypted email accounts, therefore they do not meet the security requirements for direct message. Direct Messages have to be sent FROM an encrypted email account TO an encrypted email account. For more information on Direct Messaging,
2. What should we be taking screen shots of for possible audit reasons?
3. We only get credit for patients sending a message or viewing their clinical summary once, correct?
  • Answer: Yes, that is correct, this measure is looking for unique patients.
4. All of our SNOMED codes were setup for ICD-9. Do we need to re-do those now for ICD-10?
  • Answer: Patients EMR problems should be linked with SNOMED codes for maximum impact.  In addition, you can also link them with your diagnosis codes.  Since Oct 1, 2016, ICD-10 diagnosis codes are required on all insurance claims.  You can update open or ongoing patient problems with the accurate ICD-10 codes but there is no need to try and update closed problems.
5. Do I need to update my EMN items from MUS1 to MUS2?
  • Answer: There is no real need to update the items in your note, you just want to make sure that the items you are filling out are the items configured to the report so you’re getting credit for filling them out.
6. Are each of the clicks in EMR associated with a date? For instance, the item was clicked last year, and a year later, the box is still checked. Does it have to be unclicked, and re-clicked during the reporting period?
  • Answer: The Meaningful Use report is looking at if the item was filled out in the EMN that was opened during the reporting period. So, for example, if a patient’s smoking status was entered last year, they are seen this year during the reporting period and the status didn’t change, you don’t have to un-answer this and then re-answer – the item is answered in the note, so that is what counts.
7. Do we have to link SNOMED codes and setup EMR problems for Modified Stage 2?
  • Answer: Yes, the SNOMED codes and EMR problems will become even more important as we move forward with Meaningful Use and interoperability.
8. Clinical lab tests are to be available in patient electronic access, how do we go about setting this up within the portal?
  • Answer: If labs are ordered electronically and the results are attached electronically, they will show on the Clinical Summary when that is merged for the patient – no extra setup required.
9. How do you know which objectives you can opt out of? Our office does not record vitals, should we be worried?
  • Answer: Several of the objectives have exclusions which can be found in the handouts that are available on the community portal.
10. We have multiple providers, can they report for different 90 day periods?
  • Answer: Yes, Meaningful Use is based on a provider’s individual NPI, so they can choose a separate reporting period from other providers in their group. 
RELATED: Meaningful Use FAQ Part II