The hardest part about integrating a new practice management and EHR system into your life is creating a solid plan to implement it successfully into your practice. It might seem easier to just hold off on adopting Meaningful Use, but when the deadline rolls around the corner, you will wish you started the day the policy was introduced. Taking advantage of the Meaningful Use Incentive Program will not only be a positive decision for your practice as a whole, but you also have the opportunity to receive payments from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. So what do you need to do to get started with fulfilling Meaningful Use criteria for ODs?

The Ultimate Checklist of Meaningful Use Criteria for ODs

First, You'll Need a Plan

undefinedMost eye doctors will participate in the Medicare Incentive Program, so your first step is to check your eligibility. Remember, if you still start Stage 1 this year and complete the program through all stages, you are eligible for $24,000 in incentive payments. If you are eligible and choose not to participate by 2015, your practice will be penalized. This means you will receive lower reimbursements for care provided to Medicare patients. So make sure to check your eligibility and get started as soon as possible.

Find the Certified EHR That's Perfect for You

In order to participate in the Meaningful Use Program you'll need an EHR system that is 2014 certified. You can choose to purchase a system with modular or complete certification, the choice is yours. A complete certified system gives you all of the requirements needed from a system to attest to Meaningful Use. With a modular system you will need to purchase multiple modular tools in order to fulfill all of the requirements for attesting.

Get Registered!

Once you have decided to participate in the program, it's time to register. In order to register you will need:

  • National Provider Identifier Number
  • National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) account
  • Active PECOS account

Once you're registered you'll be able to check your eligibility and determine if there are any other issues that could interfere or delay your participation in the program.

Complete the Requirements for Stage 1 Attestation

In order to receive your first incentive payment there are several measures you must meet during Stage 1 of the program which include:

  • 15 Core Objectives
  • 5 out of 10 Menu Objectives
  • 6 Clinical Quality Measures (CQM): 3 Core CQMs and 3 out of 38 additional CQMs

If you start Stage 1 in 2014, you must meet these requirements for 90 days in year 1 and a full year in year 2.

The attestation is a legal document that proves you have met all of the Meaningful Use criteria for the incentive program. During this process, you will answer yes/no questions and report the percentages met on the Stage 1 requirements. Once you submit your attestation, you will immediately receive notification if you have met the core and menu objectives of the program. If you are successful you should start receiving your EHR incentive payment 4-8 weeks after submitting the attestation. However, if you are not successful you are able to edit any information that may have been entered incorrectly or resubmit at a later date for a different 90-day period.

Receive Payment

Once you've successfully completed your attestation for Stage 1, you will start to receive your incentive payments. But remember, since you are receiving money from the government, there is a chance you may be audited during any stage of the program, so make sure that you are prepared in case you do get audited!

Begin Stage 2 Attestation

Once you have completed Stage 1, it is a wise decision to follow through with the entire Meaningful Use Program–there is more money to be made! For Stage 2 you'll have to complete:

  • 17 Core Objectives
  • 3 Menu Objectives
  • 12 Clinical Quality Measures: 9 out of 64 Clinical Quality Measures and 3 out of 6 additional clinical quality measures