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.  Since then, healthcare providers and organizations have been struggling to understand what it means, what is required of them, and how they can qualify for financial incentives.

Simply put, Meaningful Use is the ability for the data entered into an Electronic Health Record system to be used in a meaningful way.  Specific objectives have been established and divided into stages, and physicians who use EHRs that meet those objectives can, upon demonstrating compliance, qualify for financial incentives. Demonstrating that you have met the objectives in each stage is called “attesting,” and you must register with CMS to participate.


VersaSuite has achieved Stage 1 Certification (2011) and Stage 2 Certification (2014)


Stage One

Beginning 2011: All providers begin participating by meeting the Stage 1 requirements for a 90-day period in their 1st year of meaningful use and a full year in their 2nd year of meaningful use. After meeting Stage 1, providers will then have to meet Stage 2 requirements for two full years. Eligible professionals participate on calendar years, while eligible hospitals and CAHs participate according to federal fiscal year.

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Stage Two

Beginning 2014: On September 4 2012, CMS published a final rule that specifies the Stage 2 criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to continue to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. All providers must achieve meaningful use under the Stage 1 criteria before moving to Stage 2.

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Stage Three

Beginning 2016: Stage 3 of the CMS EHR Incentive Program is scheduled to begin in 2016, but the rule has not yet been finalized. Policy and Standards committees are developing recommendations to continue to expand meaningful use objectives to improve health care outcomes.  You can find more information about all stages of Meaningful Use, as well as plans for Stage 3 at the federal Health IT website.

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