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Meaningful Use

 The means by which this will be accomplished is "The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs", which, "will provide incentive payments (up to 44,000 for Medicare, 64,000 for Medicaid) to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology."

For physicians, this means individually spending $15-40,000+ to implement an EHR (Electronic Health Record) computer, individually spend 30+ hours changing your workflow and training, retraining your staff or hiring new, and forever doing things differently. 

CMS’ Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs is at offering overview and detailed information on the programs, including tabs on the path to payment, eligibility, meaningful use, certified EHR technology, and frequently asked questions.

CMS announced the following key dates for the Medicare incentive programs’ first year:

  • January 3, 2011--Registration for the Medicare EHR incentive program began--"Eligible Providers" register at Medicaid programs participants must initiate registration at CMS’ registration site but must complete the process through an eligibility verification site maintained by their state Medicaid agency.

  • April 2011: Attestation for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins.

  • 4/18/11 is the first day you can start the process of implementing meaningful use by filling out online registration & attestation, and starting to submit information for 3 consecutive months, andinitial payments may come as early as 5/11.

  • May 2011: Issuing of Medicare EHR incentive payments expected to begin for early registrants.

  • October 3, 2011: Last day for eligible professionals to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year 2011 so as to demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare HER incentive program and be eligible for payments.

  • December 31, 2011: Calendar 2011 payment year ends for eligible professionals.

  • 2/29/12 is the last day you may register and attest to still receive payments for CY 2011; 2014 is the last year you can initiate participation in Medicare EHR incentive program, whereas by 2015 payment penalties start for those not able to satisfy meaningful use criteria of 1%, then up to 3% by the coming years, see Timeline

CMS ( Medicare/Medicaid) information site: The Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs

General first page on Attestation

 Helpful video for filling out registration form with CMS:

Instructions for attestations for medicare providers

The AMA and some private vendors have entered into a partnership Called
American EHR partners, in an effort to help physicians to quickly pick amongst selected approved vendors and start using their various capabilities, such as EHR, ePrescribing, eVerification of insurance, using cloud technology that minimizes the equipment and IT outlay for the physician. This is supported by a number of medical societies, primarily the ACP.

Regional Extension Centers have been set up in accordance with the HITECH ACT to offer technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Approximately 70 regional centers serve a defined geographic area.

RECs have been structured to:

  • Provide training and support services to assist doctors and other providers in adopting EHRs

  • Offer information and guidance to help with EHR implementation

  • Give technical assistance as needed

    Click here for a listing of Regional Extension Centers by State (Source - ONC)

    Click here to identify the appropriate Regional Extension Center by Zip Code (Source - ONC)

    Coming soon: overview of local EHR companies





    Volume 3, Issue 55 - May 15, 2013

    Reaching our Grant Goals, Omnibus Rule Training, Meeting with CMS, &

     Upcoming MUVers Event in South Jersey

     By Bill O’Byrne

    The NJ-HITEC staff remains focused on reaching our ONC grant goal of 5,000 attested Stage 1 Meaningful Use Primary Care Providers (PCP) by the end of 2013.  We are currently approaching the 3,000 PCP milestone and the numbers increase everyday.  Moreover, we are proud to announce that we have assisted New Jersey physicians obtain over $65 million in federal incentive dollars.

    Part of the reason for our success is that we add value to the Meaningful Use process as well as stay informed on all the issues that affect Meaningful Use.  For instance, last week, Sue Miller, Esq. trained all NJ-HITEC staff on the Omnibus Final Rule that went into effect on March 26, 2013.  Compliance with this Final Rule begins on September 23, 2013.  She provided an overview of the major topics included in this rule so our staff has an understanding of how it affects our member providers.

    NJ-HITEC also presented an update on the importance of Meaningful Use in the process of practice transformation nationally and in New Jersey at a CMS event held on May 8 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.  Our regional directors provided information on the number of EHR users in the State, the future of coordinated care, the value of Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH), Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) as well as the importance of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs).

    In addition, this week we are meeting with CMS in our role as “expert faculty” to discuss the CPC initiative.  We have reached out to the CPC recipients in New Jersey to offer our support in the use of EHR data in helping them meet the requirements of CPC and PCMH.

    Lastly, the South Jersey team is hosting a MUVers and Health IT update event on Monday, June 17, 2013 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway.  We welcome providers in the area to attend this event to stay informed on the latest Health IT topics and initiatives.  For more information and to register, go to


             Meaningful Use Update

    by Bala Thirumalainambi

    Meaningful Use Director

    The Meaningful Use team continues to focus on reaching our grant goal of attesting 5,000 Primary Care Providers by the end of the year.  We are currently approaching the 3,000 mark and our team is energized to achieve our goal.

    In addition, we continue to inform our members on any updates or modifications regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR Incentive Program. This week we alerted our members on how to avoid payment adjustments in 2014 for the eRx Incentive Program as well as how to appeal a pending attestation per the CMS Electronic Reporting Pilot Program/CQM e-Reporting Pilot.  Both updates can be found at under CMS Updates.

    Many providers are concerned about the requirements for Stage 2 Meaningful Use that will take effect on January 1, 2014.  In turn, we provide training and education on this topic. Last week, we presented a Stage 2 MU update to the NJ Primary Care Association that was well received. 

    We also want to remind you that our Meaningful Minutes are presented weekly on Wednesdays from noon to 12:30 p.m.  These short but information-packed sessions are free and followed up by a key points fact sheet that you can share with your colleagues.  These workshops are a great way to keep informed on the latest topics. The Truth About Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Part 1 and Part 2 will be featured on May 22 and May 29respectively.  You can register at


    Medicaid Specialist Program Update

    by Bebet S. Navia, R.N

    Medicaid Specialist Program Director

    The Medicaid Specialist Program continues to provide Meaningful Use (MU) training for multiple specialty sites as we focus on assisting Eligible Providers that have successfully attested to Adopt, Implement, or Upgrade (AIU) their certified EHR system in the first year of the NJ Medicaid Incentive Program in preparing them to meet the MU requirements for CY2013.  We provided MU training for and presentations to Child and Family Services in Elizabeth, UCPC Behavioral Healthcare in Plainfield, Inman Dental Care in Edison, and Ocean Mental Health Services of New Jersey headquartered in Bayville.  Approximately 40 senior and mid-level executives attended our training session at Ocean Mental Health Services and they plan to start their MU reporting period this summer. 


    The program continues to reach member provider milestones that now total more than 470 NJ Medicaid approved participating providers through the first quarter of 2013. 

    The New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addition Agencies (NJAMHAA) held their 2013 Integrated Case

    Management Services Conference at Pines Manor in Edison on May 9.  NJ-HITEC was one of several exhibitors at the event that included informative presentations on the Medicaid Waiver and Behavioral Health Homes.

    If your practice would like to schedule a MU training and/or a presentation for your eligible providers as well as support staff, or would like additional information on our program services, please contact the Medicaid Specialist Program at 973-642-4777.



    What Our Members & Supporters are Saying About Us

    “Clinical summaries are empowering our patients. The clinical summaries we give to our patients are providing them with insight to their diagnoses, their medication lists, and written form of the advice given to them verbally during the visit.”

    Dinesh K. Singal, MD FACC FACP FSCAI

    Internal Medicine

    Somerset, NJ


    Talking Privacy & Security with Sue Miller

    How the Omnibus Rule Changed a Patient’s Right of Access to Electronic Records

    There are a number of individual rights found in the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  Your office’s Notice of Privacy Practice (NPP) is one of the patient’s rights under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

    Within the NPP your office outlines the individual rights to inform your patients how to use these rights, such as how to ask for specific type of communication, such as to an office email or cell phone number.  


    Cyber Security - EMR & Data Security

    By Gabrielle Lamb

    PriMed Consulting


    There are many benefits to using Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems and physicians who have instituted EMRs into their practices, or are in the process of doing so also need to understand the risks. Network security issues, data recovery costs and related HIPAA violation claims can result from a breach of network security and loss of patient information.  Read more..




    NJ-HITEC by the Numbers

    Members - 7,715

    Members Live on an EHR - 6,014

    Member Meaningful Users - 2,988