Meaningful Use

What Does Meaningful Use Mean?

Meaningful Uuse (MU) is a standard implemented for the usage of electronic health records (EHR) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) incentive reimbursement programs. Monetary incentives will be paid to health care agencies, institutions and private practices who implement MU of EHRs in the following manners:

  • Certified EHR usage such as e-Prescribing.
  • Certified EHR technology usage for electronic health information exchange (HIE) to expand upon and invest in the quality of health care.
  • Certified EHR technology usage for clinical quality care submissions.

MU should produce qualitative and quantitative health care measures.

Techopedia Explains Meaningful Use

There are a total of 25 meaningful use requirements for which health care facilities must meet 15 core requirements. Past that, at least five of the 10 remaining MU requirements must be met. And in order to qualify for Medicare/Medicaid incentive payments, eligible providers (EP) and eligible hospitals must demonstrate MU techniques for each year they participate in the program. Evidence must be provided that those eligibile have installed a certified EHR program or that if they have one they have upgraded it. Another MU measure is to demonstrate that an EHR program has already been implemented and provide solid proof that staff has been trained accordingly.

There are three stages to Meaningful Use including the years 2011 and 2012 for which baseline data capture and data exchange should be met. The second stage is for the year 2013 and stage three is for the year 2015. A work in progress, continued MU expansions and rules will be implemented during the two later stages.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…