Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use

Note: As of April 2018, CMS is proposing to rename the EHR Incentive Programs, (a.k.a. “Meaningful Use”), to “Promoting Interoperability”.

“Meaningful use of a certified EHR” underlies the EHR Incentive Programs offered through the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—also known as the 2009 Economic Stimulus Plan. The Medicare EHR Incentive Program has been replaced by MACRA; only the Medicaid and Hospital programs remain.


SRS is certified as a complete EHR

SRS is certified as a complete EHR by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), so specialists and other high-performing physicians who choose to pursue Meaningful Use can do so successfully with SRS. In fact, SRS ranks among the top three vendors for successful meaningful use attestations by orthopaedists. Participation in the Medicaid program is voluntary, and the meaningful use requirements do have productivity implications—what distinguishes the SRS approach from that of other certified EHRs is its delivery of meaningful use capability with a concurrent increase in productivity.

The meaningful use rules are complex, and very few providers have the time or inclination to review them in their entirety. SRS has devoted the resources of its Government Affairs department—which has been involved since the program’s inception—to understanding the meaningful use requirements as they evolve, and interpreting the implications for specialists and other high-performing physicians and their practices. Although the Medicaid MU program follows the established Federal MU guidelines, each state manages its own program. State-specific info is located here.

Medicaid EHR Incentives

The potential incentive is maximum of $63,750, and is paid out over 6 years ($42,500 for pediatricians with 20%-30% Medicaid). The first year did not require demonstration of meaningful use, but could have been reimbursement for adoption, implementation, or upgrading to a certified EHR.

While there is no penalty for non-participation in Medicaid MU, incentives are still available to providers who started MU by 2016. Note:  Any Medicare revenue generated by a Medicaid provider would be subject to MACRA penalties; therefore, these providers should consider participating in MACRA as well.

Meaningful Use Eligibility

Medicaid MU Eligible Professionals:

  • Physicians (primarily doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy)
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse-midwife
  • Dentist
  • Physician assistant who furnishes services in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Clinic that is led by a physician assistant.

To be eligible for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, providers must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum 30% Medicaid patient volume
  • Have a minimum 20% Medicaid patient volume if a pediatrician
  • Practice predominantly in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Center and have a minimum 30% patient volume attributable to needy individuals

More information about eligibility is available on the CMS Website Eligibility page.

Additional Resources for Information:


Meaningful Use



Legislation and Regulations:


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) – text of the legislation

The following two sections of the ARRA bill comprise the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act:

  • Title XIII, Division A (Appropriations Provisions), Health Information Technology
  • Title IV, Division B (Tax, Unemployment, Health, State Fiscal Relief, and Other Provisions, Medicare and Medicaid Health Information Technology: Miscellaneous Medicare Provisions

Final Rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2 – released 9/4/2012

Final Rule for MU Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 Through 2017 – released 10/16/2015