Despite increasing awareness and implementation of Meaningful Use reporting among medical professionals, clinics and hospitals this year, over 250,000 of providers will receive a penalty come January 1 for failing to meet Meaningful Use requirements.
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had granted providers an extended deadline back in October to file hardship exception applications by November 30, approximately 257,000 of these eligible professionals, hospitals and medical offices neither met Meaningful Use attestation nor were certified for exemption from the penalties. Consequently, these providers will see their Medicare reimbursements cut by 1 percent starting January 1, 2015. Another 28,000 healthcare professionals will see a 2 percent reduction for failing to adhere to the electronic prescribing incentive program, in addition to falling short of Meaningful Use criteria.
According to CMS, 55,000 of the providers who applied for Meaningful Use hardship were granted exemptions. Another 2,000 applications had been rejected, but the agency notes that many of these providers had met the requirements for Meaningful Use reporting anyway.
Avoiding incentive penalties like these are one of the most immediate reasons why more providers should upgrade their chiropractic EHR systems to Meaningful Use (and in particular, Stage 2) standards. While some may fret about the cost that a new chiropractic EHR software might have on their bottom line, there's no more readily apparent cut into revenue than a CMS penalty.
But Meaningful Use doesn't just make financial sense, it also helps improve patient care experiences. With new Meaningful Use-compliant software in place, clinics and medical professionals can provide patients with more accurate diagnoses while also enabling more easily shared information and streamlined recordkeeping.