Meaningful use is a program developed by Medicare and Medicaid designed to provide incentives for the use of electronic health records with the aim of improvement of patient care. It is implemented in three stages: promotion of electronic health record adoption, emphasis on care coordination and patient information exchange, and improvement of healthcare outcomes. The stages were designed to be implemented in certain time frames but were recently updated (“Meaningful use definition,” 2017).
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Significance of the Question
The question is especially significant to the hospital finance team as the implementation of meaningful use leads to financial incentives to those who participate. The lack of proper implementation would lead to the implementation of penalties that can reach up to five percent of Medicare Part B reimbursements. Early year of participation for the hospital is preferred as the incentives become smaller with each year. Hospital administration requires a large number of resources and their loss would be unacceptable in the case of failure (“Meaningful use definition,” 2017).
Effect of Meaningful Use on the Task Force
The importance of meaningful use would have a strong effect on the actions of the task force. With such issues as the staff’s lack of acceptance of the new system, errors, and the lack of easy access to information, the work of the task force would have to be mostly focused on solving the issues that prevent electronic health records from being smoothly implemented. Time is a serious factor in this scenario which makes this a higher priority issue than it has been previously.