CMS takes first shot at defining 'meaningful use'

The long wait is finally over--well, sort of. On Tuesday, a first draft of the standard definition for "meaningful use"--a definition that will help determine whether or not providers will receive Medicare incentive payments for utilizing electronic health record technology correctly--was rolled out by the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, Modern Healthcare reports.

The committee wants the requirements for meaningful use to be "tiered" and grow more complex each year between 2011 and 2015. After that, penalties would be doled out for not complying with such standards. Anthony Trenkle, director of the CMS's office of e-Health Standards and Services, pointed out that all providers would be held to the same standards each year, regardless of whether it was a provider's first or third year of utilizing EHR technology.

HIMSS already took a crack at coming up with a definition for meaningful use, and there likely will be others who follow suit, considering the final definition isn't expected to be in place until early 2010. Regardless, CMS's definition will be the only one that matters.

For more information:
- check out this Modern Healthcare article