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In Meaningful Use Reports, Quality Matters

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 20, 2011

The enrollment for meaningful use initiatives has begun, and for physicians that means a slew of requirements that must be met to gain the financial rewards attached.  You are forewarned: don't forget about quality.

Before anyone starts counting their dollars, or wondering what went wrong, researchers Jane B. Metzger and Jared M. Rhoads for CSC, a technology and healthcare company, did some investigating. They spent time "deconstructing" the core measures to meet the meaningful use requirements, especially in terms of "quality" reporting data.

They looked at the necessary information that has to be documented by large medical groups, in particular. Metzger, principal for emerging practices for CSC, based in Falls Church, VA, says that in looking at many levels of meaningful use requirements, they found "hidden functional requirements. "

Hidden? "We call these hidden because they aren't immediately apparent from viewing the list of Stage 1 requirements for eligible professionals," Metzger says. "Stage 1 is largely focused on data capture."

As a result, physicians in large groups should include a wide scope of quality issues in documenting their meaningful use initiatives, Metzger says.

 "A minimalist approach to documenting this information just to meet the meaningful use threshold will not provide sufficient information for quality reporting," says Metzger and Rhoades, a senior analyst for CSC, outline their concerns in a white paper Physician Quality Reporting - The Hidden Requirements of Meaningful Use." In particular, they refer to Stage 1, the requirements for 2011 and 2012, in which "health systems and medical groups need to perform a detailed analysis" of data for quality measure reporting.

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