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Specialty specific criteria for Meaningful Use, Stage 2

By: Nextech | April 23rd, 2014

Blog Feature

As many in the industry noted, Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU) was largely geared toward general practices, and has been described as a “one size fits all” approach that did not take into account the varied nature of specialty providers. Although there were exemptions that specialty practices could qualify for in Stage 1, the initial confusion surrounding the guidance created challenges for many providers. CMS has now provided guidance on Core, Menu and Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) exclusions. CMS has been very clear that potential exclusions are not based on a particular specialty, but rather on the specific data that a practice does not collect because it is not relevant to their practice. They note that there are no “blanket” exclusions for any type of provider and that the physician is responsible for “evaluating whether they meet the exclusion criteria for each applicable objective.”

After receiving numerous comments from medical societies, industry associations and other stakeholders, it seems that CMS is listening to the concerns that have been raised by specialty providers. With MU2, providers have more clarity regarding the process for reporting Core, Menu and Clinical Quality Measures.

For example, CMS has published a Meaningful Use for Specialists Tipsheet.

The following summarizes some of the information presented in the Tipsheet regarding exclusions criteria for Core, Menu and CQM Measures.

Core Measures

As an example, if a physician does not collect vital sign data because they do not consider it to be relevant to their practice, then they don’t need to record them for that measure. However, data provided by a referring provider can be used to fulfill certain measures and CMS encourages providers to use this data if possible. They also suggest that data available from Health Information Exchanges (HIE) can be used to collect reporting data. If physicians are able to use data from either source, CMS notes that neither the referring provider nor the HIE need to have “certified EHR technology,” as long as the physician has a certified solution.

Menu Measures

Some providers may qualify for exclusion for the drug formulary checks if they write fewer than 100 prescriptions or no prescriptions at all during the reporting period. It should be noted that CMS does require that providers review and report on measures “on which they can report.”

CQM Measure

According to the Tipsheet, all providers must report on Clinical Quality Measures including specialists. They indicate there are multiple Clinical Quality Measure that are applicable to specialists and they suggest that providers “pick quality measures that are relevant to their practices and clinical workflow.”

NexTech support for MU2

Our Meaningful Use experts will be providing strategic upgrades and specialized training on meeting core and menu objectives. Nextech is committed to providing EMR and practice management tools that are compliant and directly supporting our clients in the attestation process for Stage 2, and we’ve helped more than 400 practices qualify for Meaningful Use incentives. Want to learn more about how we can help your practice prepare for MU2? Register a demo here.