American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Electronic Health Records


 Phasing Out


​On Dec. 31, 2016, the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will sunset, to be replaced with the MACRA quality performance program, which incorporates aspects of EHR meaningful use. Medicaid’s EHR Incentive Program will continue. LEARN MORE

HHS Releases New Health IT Resource for Physicians

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a Health IT Playbook to answer many of the questions that providers face when implementing and using health IT.

The online Playbook allows physicians to select their current phase of EHR implementation, and then provides customized resources and information appropriate to that phase. Resources include:

  • Questions to ask potential EHR vendors during the selection process for purchasing a new EHR
  • A downloadable matrix you can use to score and compare potential vendors
  • A downloadable vendor pricing template to help you compare pricing across vendors who might use different pricing models (i.e. monthly subscriptions vs one-time fees, upgrade costs, etc.).
  • An EHR contracting guide to help you negotiate terms and understand the fine print
  • Implementation checklists to better manage workflow changes
  • Issues to be aware of for data migration and contracting during EHR replacements
  • Tools and information on making the most of your EHR to improve care for your patients
  • Information on MACRA and what it will mean for your EHR usage



 Electronic Health Records


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law on February 17, 2009, provides more than $19 billion in HIT investment and creates financial incentives for HIT adoption by health care professionals participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs. Under ARRA, two key concepts determine whether eligible professionals qualify for HIT incentive payments:

  1. Physicians must make meaningful use of HIT, and

  2. Physicians must use a qualified or certified electronic health record.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its final rule on the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, which implements the ARRA provisions (also known as the HITECH Act).

The purpose of the EHR incentive program is not so much the adoption of HIT, but rather to explore how HIT can further the goals of improving health outcomes. This is the concept of meaningful use.

An eligible physician will be considered a meaningful EHR user if he/she meets three requirements:

  • Uses certified EHR technology in a meaningful manner; i.e. computerized physician order entry (CPOE),

  • Participates in electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care, and

  • Submits information on clinical quality measures to CMS (or to a state if a Medicaid program). 


 News from CMS