Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use means providers need to show they’re using certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to manage their patients in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity. Five Star Physicians not only embraces EHR, but strongly believes in its ability to improve care while reducing healthcare costs. Five Star Physicians provides a dedicated team to ensure compliance and support our clinicians in effectively and appropriately utilizing EHR.


The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was signed into law on February 17, 2009, to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 specifies three main components of Meaningful Use (MU):

  1. The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner.
  2. The electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care.
  3. The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measure.

In July 2010, the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule which established three phases of the EHR Incentive Program. The three stages of Meaningful Use are designed to support eligible professionals and hospitals with implementing and using EHRs in a meaningful way to help improve the quality and safety of the nation’s healthcare system. Stage 1 of the EHR Incentive program began in 2011, with Stages II and III established by CMS rules.

After 2015, Medicare requires that all Medicare eligible professionals and hospitals meet meaningful use. Medicaid eligible professionals participating in the EHR Incentive Program can elect to adopt, implement, or upgrade (AIU) to an electronic health care system in the first year and still receive the incentive payments. In order to continue to receive payments, all eligible providers must meet the criteria for meaningful use.

By focusing on the effective use of certified EHRs, the HITECH Act makes clear that the adoption of EHRs is not a goal in itself – it is the effective use of EHRs to achieve health and efficiency that matters. HITECH’s incentives and assistance programs seek to improve the health of Americans and the performance of their health care system through the “meaningful use” of EHRs with a focus on five health enhancing goals: to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care while reducing disparities; engage patients and families in their care; promote public and population health; improve care coordination; promote the privacy and security of patient information.

Today more than at any time before, delivering care in post-acute/long term care is much more than a doctor showing up to see her patients. It has become a landscape of partnerships, guidelines, enhanced rules and regulations and demands for improved metrics and technology. Five Star Physicians takes a leading role in complying and staying ahead of these changes.

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