For Immediate Release
April 3, 2012
Contact: Pam Udall
phone: (512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320
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“What’s ‘meaningful use,’ and how do I achieve it?”
Some physicians ask that question as they strive to meet “meaningful-use” criteria and qualify for Medicare or Medicaid payment incentives for using health information technology (HIT) in their practice. By 2015, physicians must have adopted and be actively using an electronic health record (EHR) meaningfully — by meeting specific objectives — or Medicare will penalize them financially.
The new Texas Medical Association (TMA) Meaningful Use Achievement Toolkit has the answer.
The unique toolkit provides detailed instructions about what physicians must do, using their particular EHR product, to meet any one of the 25 meaningful-use stage one criteria defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The tool explains each objective and includes screenshots or video demonstrations of four popular EHR products — e-MDs, GE/Centricity, Greenway Medical, and NextGen. TMA plans to expand the toolkit to include other EHRs. TMA also directs physicians to one of the four Texas regional extension centers, which can help doctors select, implement, and meaningfully use their EHR to qualify for the financial incentives.
Given those incentives can amount to as much as $63,750 from Medicaid or $44,000 from Medicare, physicians find value in TMA’s guidance through this often confusing HIT change. The largest state medical society in the nation also offers a HIT Helpline —(800) 880-5720 or HIT@texmed.org — for physician members with questions about the toolkit or any other meaningful-use questions.
The Physicians Foundation provided a grant for TMA to build the tool.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 45,500 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
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