Financial incentive programs through Medicare and Medicaid are intended to increase the “meaningful use” of electronic health records (i.e., WebCIS). The UNC Health Care System will participate in two separate programs: Eligible Hospital (EH or ‘hospital program’) and Eligible Professional (EP or ‘outpatient program’).
The Meaningful Use (MU) outpatient program requires that Eligible Professionals (EPs) successfully complete 26 components. These requirements include, among others, maintaining coded problems in the ‘General Problems List’ and coded medications in the ‘Outpatient Medications’ list, using e-prescribing instead of handwritten or printed prescriptions, and documenting actions taken in response to WebCIS ‘Health Care Maintenance’ quality prompts.
Beginning in 2015, the financial incentives will change to penalties, increasing to as much as 5% of Medicare reimbursement for providers who do not achieve MU.
UNC’s vision is to achieve ‘meaningful use’ of electronic health records, adapt to requirements of health reform, and do so while providing high quality, efficient care. We will proceed with a sense of urgency and thoughtful focus on the impact to patients, providers, and staff.
As a part of our efforts to achieve MU, researchers from the Gillings School of Global Public Health are collaborating with UNC Health Care System to assess the current MU-related readiness and capacity for change within each Department/Division’s outpatient practice.
Specifically, the readiness for change assessment will utilize a survey to gain insight into the perceptions of leadership, clinicians, and staff about their own ability to adapt to MU requirements, as well as the capacity of their Department/Division to implement the changes required to achieve MU.
The capacity assessment will utilize brief interviews with key personnel in each Department/Division that focus on the current practice environment and resources related to MU. Given the variation in environment, resources, and readiness for change across UNC outpatient practices, we believe the findings from this evaluation will enable us to tailor our support of MU efforts to the unique needs of each Department/Division.
More information will be published here soon about this collaboration and the resources available from UNC’s Practice Quality and Innovation team to support MU implementation in our outpatient clinics. In the meantime, please submit your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.