Meaningful Use and “Eliminated” Objectives: Don’t Get Caught Without Necessary Information

Eliminated Meaningful Use Objectives

Each year, when CMS revises its Meaningful Use rules, it may eliminate certain objectives, as it did in 2015 by eliminating requirements to record demographics, vital signs and smoking status. Your facility may assume this information is no longer important, and you may be tempted to stop capturing this information.

However, even though certain objectives may have been eliminated, you don’t want to stop recording many of these statistics. The information required for these eliminated objectives may feed into other objectives.

For example, one of the objectives that was NOT eliminated was known as Health Information Exchange. It used to be known as the Summary of Care Objective or the Transition of Care Objective. It’s been renamed the “Health Information Exchange” under the new rule. This particular objective requires a Summary of Care document be used to meet the objective.

First, take a look at this partial list of objectives eliminated in October 2015:

  • Record Demographics
  • Record Vital Signs
  • Record Smoking Status
  • Structured Lab Results
  • Advanced Directives
  • Maintain Problem List
  • Active Medication List
  • Active Medication Allergy List

Now consider this partial list of requirements for the Health Information Exchange Objective. CMS expects your facility to include the following items when compiling your Summary of Care. We’ve highlighted the items that overlap between the two lists in blue:

  • Record Demographics
  • Record Vital Signs
  • Record Smoking Status
  • Structured Lab Results
  • Advanced Directives
  • Maintain Problem List*
  • Active Medication List*
  • Active Medication Allergy List*

(* Note: An eligible hospital or CAH must verify that the fields for current problem list, current medication list, and current medication allergy list are not blank and include the most recent information known by the eligible hospital or CAH as of the time of generating the summary of care document or include a notation of no current problem, medication and/or medication allergies.)

If your facility stopped recording these statistics because you believed the objective was eliminated, you’ll be left scrambling to meet the Health Information Exchange Objective—and you could put your Meaningful Use attestation at risk.

The solution? Review the CMS website carefully, especially the yearly program requirements that you’ll find on the left-hand navigation bar. This will help you stay up to date on the latest regulations.

Additionally, if you’re finding it challenging to interpret the regulations as they apply to your facility, get in touch with an expert. At Sisu, we offer our clients access to a Meaningful Use expert who both understands the regulations and understands each facility’s unique features to make sure they’re making the right choices to attest.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help your organization with its Meaningful Use attestation, get in touch with us. We’ll help you evaluate your needs and your risk factors to make the right decision for your organization. For an initial consultation, reach out to us at info@sisusolutions.com or 218.529.7951.