Contract should ensure EHR compliance

November 6, 2009

Practices making the plunge into electronic health records prior to the final definition of "meaningful use" should require the EHR contract guarantee the system will meet those requirements.

Practices making the plunge into electronic health records prior to the final definition of “meaningful use” – which is the criteria necessary to receive $44,000 over five years from Medicare starting in 2011 – should require the EHR contract guarantee the system will meet those requirements, according to an attorney presenter at last month’s Medical Group Management Association conference.in Denver.

“Meaningful use” will be defined by the Department of Health and Human Services by the end of the year. But for practices adopting EHRs now, contract language should say the system will not only enable the practice to meet the requirements in 2011, but throughout the five years of the incentives, says David Schoolcraft, a healthcare attorney with Ogden Murphy Wallace PLLC in Seattle.