3 Tips from a Meaningful User on Attesting for Meaningful Use

October 19, 2011
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The latest report from the HIT Policy Committee states that 2,246 eligible providers and 100 hospitals have attested to meeting Meaningful Use (MU) criteria. With thousands of dollars at stake, providers and hosptials that have invested in electronic health records (EHR) are trying to figure out the recipe for successfully attesting.

The latest report from the HIT Policy Committee states that 2,246 eligible providers and 100 hospitals have attested to meeting Meaningful Use (MU) criteria. With thousands of dollars at stake, providers and hosptials that have invested in electronic health records (EHR) are trying to figure out the recipe for successfully attesting.

To be fair, there’s no silver bullet that can guarantee that you’ll be able to attest to MU. However, picking up some tips for success from other physicians and practices that have attested can never hurt. I recently caught up with Dr. Kevin Spencer to find out how his Austin-based practice was able to attest.

To date, Dr. Spencer’s practice, Premier Family Physicians, has received $108,000 in reimbursement payments for attesting for MU. After the of the practice’s physicians attest, the practice will be on track to receive $308,000 in the next five years.

Dr. Spencer shared with with me three key components that he thought were essential to attesting to Meaningful Use. According to Dr. Spencer, the keys to success were:

  1. Choosing the right EHR software company;
  2. Undergoing meaningful use training; and,
  3. Changing documentation processes to fit meaningful use guidelines.

Choosing the right electronic health record (EHR) vendor is the logical first step. Attesting for MU requires following a lot of very specific criteria. As a result, it’s incredibly helpful to choose a vendor that will train you on how to track compliance with MU.

Dr. Spencer’s practice selected Greenway PrimeSUITE as their provider. To help Dr. Spencer, and other practices, understand the guidelines of meaningful use, Greenway put on a seminar at the beginning of the year to train them. At the seminar they taught the doctors how to meet the fifteen criteria of meaningful use. 

Of course, proper training doesn’t really help if you’re not willing to take the necessary measures to work hard and reap the benefits of your EHR system. In addition to taking measures to meet MU standards, Dr. Spencer and his practice have started to incorporate their EHR data into their daily practice more frequently. Doing so has given them a much stronger sense of patient outcomes and how they can best help patients.

The final point that Dr. Spencer had to share was that every practice needs someone who is willing to champion the process. They need an individual who will drive organizational changes and be there to coordinate training sessions with the vendor and ensure MU criteria are met.

Those were Dr. Spencer’s key to sucess, but I’d like to hear from others that have successfully attested for their EHR system. What’s your experience been? What advice do you have to offer?