CMS offers new option for EDs to meet 'meaningful use'

CMS has revised its frequently asked questions on "meaningful use" of EMRs to give hospitals a choice as to how emergency departments can qualify for federal incentive payments, AHA News reports. Per earlier guidance, hospitals may choose the "Observation Services" method of counting patients directly admitted from the ED to inpatient departments, patients examined in the ED and later admitted and patients given treatment in the ED then kept there for observation. A new option, called the "All ED Visits" method, lets hospitals count patients covered under observation services, as well as those treated and discharged directly from the ED. Hospitals must select one method for all metrics that apply to both ED patients and inpatients. News brief