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What Is Meaningful Use?

Meaningful UseMeaningful use is the set of standards defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services(CMS) Incentive Programs that govern the use of electronic health records. The goal of meaningful use is to improve health care in the United States by promoting the spread of electronic health records. The broadly identified benefits of the meaningful use of EHRs include:

  • Complete and accurate information
  • Better access to information
  • Patient empowerment

For details, visit the CMS website.

I’ve heard the government will pay us a lot of money through this “meaningful use” program to start using an EHR. Is this true?

Medicare and Medicaid have initiated an EHR adoption program that offers substantial cash incentives for “meaningful use” of electronic health records by physicians. At the present time, none of these criteria pertain to allied mental health practitioners, so the vast majority of mental health professionals are not eligible. If anyone reading this post knows of the actions of any allied mental health professional associations to get these incentive paid to us, please let us know by leaving a comment below. We’d like to have any information about their lobbying efforts so that we may support them.   All is not lost. As we reported last July in New Bill for Behavioral Mental Health Professionals Promises Federal Funding, House bill, H.R. 6043, would amend the definition of “Eligible Professional” for this incentive program to include behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse professionals, psychiatric hospitals, and residential and outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities.   Please leave any other questions or comments below.

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