As you may have heard - even the AAP has announced the news - the Final Draft of the Meaningful Use Final Rule has been issued by CMS. There are already dozens of analyses of the results posted on-line (how some of these folks read 860+ pages in a matter of hours is beyond me), but remarkably little as it relates to pediatricians. As you know, MU and the ARRA money are really aimed at the 95% market share, namely physicians who take Medicare.
Before I give you some of the best pediatric-focused analysis of the new rules, I will give you the second best. histalk2.com has both the original announcement as well as an amazing comparison of the Prelim and Final rules. The comments for the original announcement are particularly important to read.
The best analysis, especially for pediatricians, comes from within PCC, of course. I assume she is going to share some of this on pedsource.com in general once she has looked over everything, but our own Erica Greenwood sent me a list of pediatric-focused items that I thought were worth sharing in advance of a more formal, official reading. So, approach these carefully - and any misinterpretation here is my own and not hers - but some highlights include:
- Under the Medicaid program, EP's can participate for six years and the years do not have to be consecutive. So, if you start and then miss a year, it's okay, you can pick up the following year. This is very different -- and better -- than Medicare which offers five consecutive years.
- States can now only add criteria related to two of the measures and any criteria they add must pertain specifically to public health objectives and data registries. CMS has to approve the additional criteria. [This is very different from what I have been led to understand is happening in places like VT, DE, and PA. For example, I was told that VT practices would have to submit a complete "Blueprint For Health" data set (225? discrete items?) for each visit to qualify!]
Erica spotted many other changes, some of which haven't been picked up by any of the other places I've read, but the two items above are of particular interest to pediatricians. Unfortunately, the "20% Medicaid" bar has not been lowered, so our estimate that only 31% of private pediatric practices qualify remains unchallenged. You can see more of PCC's running ARRA/CCHIT/MU content here.