The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also referred to as the Stimulus Plan came into existence on February 17, 2009 when President Obama passed it as a law. The act sets aside $59 billion for healthcare initiatives, including $19 billion in Healthcare Information Technology (HITECH).
This part of the ARRA legislation stands for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This act calls for the physicians to earn up to $64,000 in case of Medicaid and $44,000 in case of Medicare over a period of 5 years, if they 'Meaningfully Use' an EHR.
ARRA Meaningful Use has become one of the most commonly used expressions in the healthcare industry since 2009. On July 13, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced the final ruling for the EHR Incentive Program based upon Stage 1 of Meaningful Use.
ARRA Meaningful Use is not a destination in itself; instead it is an ongoing process involving the use of EHRs to achieve advanced care coordination and delivery within the following Meaningful Use guidelines:
Meaningful Use attestation refers to a set of Ambulatory Certification criteria that medical providers must meet in order to prove that they are using their EMR as an effective tool in their practice. There are Ambulatory Clinical Quality Measures additional criteria out of which minimum nine needs to be demonstrated by the medical provider. In total, each provider must complete both Meaningful Use criteria to qualify for stimulus payments during stage one of the EHR incentive program. These criteria's are:
|Ambulatory Certification Criteria (170.314)||Ambulatory Clinical Quality Measures|
A MU attested EMR means that it is adhering to the above set of healthcare quality measures and is aiding the provider towards improved quality, safety, efficiency, care coordination, ensuring privacy and security for personal health information.
ONC refers to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, also known as ONCHIT. The ONC was founded in 2004 as part of the department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and received a massive boost in funding under the stimulus plan, 2009. The office has been set up to coordinate the implementation and use of health information technology under the EHR incentive plan.