The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is trying to publicize that specialists can meet requirements for the "meaningful use" incentive payment program by taking advantage of exceptions in the final rule, American Medical News reports.
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
Specialists have expressed concern about meeting requirements specified for the meaningful use of EHRs, saying that their practices cannot meet some of the objectives. Some specialists say that it would be more beneficial if they had separate meaningful use rules.
ONC has not issued a formal statement for specialists aiming to meet the standards, but National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal has attended multiple meetings to explain how specialists can meet the requirements. Blumenthal said that specialists could claim exceptions to rules that do not apply to them and that claiming exceptions is acceptable to meeting the requirement.
Derek Robinson, medical director of the HHS Region 5, said that when specialists choose which objectives from a menu set to focus on, an objective that does not apply to their practice can be considered as having been met (Dolan, American Medical News, 11/15).