Meaningful Use Rules - Stage 1
Legislation and Regulations
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provides the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) with the authority to establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health IT, including electronic health records and private and secure electronic health information exchange.
Under HITECH, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specified objectives. The meaningful use Stage 1 criteria are outlined in the meaningful use rules found below.
Two regulations have been released, one of which defines the meaningful use Stage 1 criteria that providers must meet to qualify for the bonus payments, and the other which identifies the technical capabilities required for certified EHR technology.
- Incentive Program for Electronic Health Records [PDF – 14 MB]: Issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), this final rule defines the minimum requirements that providers must meet through their use of certified EHR technology in order to qualify for the payments.
- Standards and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Records [PDF – 414 KB]: Issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, this rule identifies the standards and certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they adopt are capable of performing the required functions.