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The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 established a set of incentives and penalties for adoption and use of certified EHR systems. The ultimate vision is to improve the quality and value of American health care. In essence, however, HITECH has created a 2015 deadline for hospitals and physician offices to implement a certified EHR system and meet a set of — meaningful use requirements to avoid Medicare payment penalties. Before 2015, HITECH provides Medicare incentive payments for those hospitals that can demonstrate meaningful use of a certified EHR system.1

1 The Health Care Leader Action Guide on Implementation of Electronic Health Records PDF

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What is Meaningful Use?

What is meaningful use? What is meaningful use stage one? How does meaningful use apply to EHRs? How do you meet the requirements? The blog entries below help answer these questions as well as offer tips and resources to guide you through the process of adopting and meeting the meaningful use requirements for EHRs.

Being a Meaningful User of Electronic Health Records

SUMMARY: Electronic health records play a critical role in getting to a higher quality, safer, more effective health care system. The release of the final rules on meaningful use and standards and certification mark the official launch of the EHR in this country. Health care providers now have additional funding to support the meaningful use of electronic health records as well as guidelines that can help them implement them in a way that improves care for their patients.

Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Final Rule PDF

SUMMARY: This final rule implements the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111–5) that provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs that adopt and successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.

The Road to Meaningful Use: What it Takes to Implement Electronic Health Record Systems PDF

SUMMARY: Policymakers and health care providers increasingly recognize health information technology (IT) as a tool for providing efficient, high-quality care. ... April 26, 2010

Critical Access Hospitals and Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology PDF

Fact Sheets


Resource List

Regional Extension Centers

Regional Extension Center Support for Critical Access and Rural Hospitals

EHR Incentives for Critical Access Hospitals PDF

List of Certified EHR and EHR Modules for Meaningful Use

Direct Project