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Meaningful Use Overview

The overarching goal of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is not the mere adoption of new technology but the use of electronic health records (EHR) to systematically improve healthcare access, delivery, and quality. The HITECH Act and its associated regulations describe the application of EHR technology toward that end as "meaningful use."

Meaningful use (MU) is using certified EHR technology to

  • Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
  • Engage patients and families in their healthcare
  • Improve care coordination
  • Improve population and public health
  • Maintain privacy and security

Being a meaningful user indicates successful achievement of specific procedural and clinical benchmarks using certified EHR technology. Beginning in Program Year 2017, only EPs who have previously attested to adopting, implementing, or upgrading (AIU) certified EHR technology or previously attested to MU can work toward achieving Meaningful Use for up to six years through 2021.

Eligible Professionals (EPs) can attain meaningful use and earn incentive payments by attesting to Stage 3 objectives using the Provider Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) portal. To successfully attest to Stage 3 objectives and measures, the EP must use EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition. Review the links on the left toolbar for more detailed information about MU requirements.

2020 Final Rule Provisions

CMS has finalized a 90-day reporting period for the Meaningful Use measures and the CQM measures for 2020 and 2021 effective January 1, 2020.
For payment year 2021, the security risk assessment (SRA) may be performed anytime during the calendar year 2021 even if that is after the EP attests to the state. If you have not completed the SRA before your attestation date, you will be required to attest that you will complete one by December 31, 2021.