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Meaningful Use:A Call to Arms

Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.acra.2011.11.008
  • Meaningful Use
  • Cms
  • Electronic Health Record (Ehr)
  • Health Information Technology (Hit) Clinical Workflow
  • Productivity
  • Incentive Payments
  • Exclusions
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine
  • Political Science


The benefits of an interactive online world have affected the way we purchase products and plan our vacations. It is only a matter of time before consumers start demanding health care with the same convenience that comes with booking an airline flight or managing a bank account. The health care industry itself requires periodic and mandatory data analysis for outcome analysis, clinical benchmarking, quality improvement, forming guidelines, and making decisions. The federal government and health care community have been working together to come up with more robust and cost-effective health care informatics solutions. Meaningful use (MU) intends to establish a new standard for health care informatics in the United States. The term “meaningful use” implies that health care information and technology systems not just exist, but also serve as an integral part of physician and hospital workflow; leading to cost savings as well as improved outcomes. Under this concept, the federal government is offering maximum incentive payments of up to $44,000 per physician (including radiologists) if they can meet all the requirements as laid down in the MU measures. Unfortunately, penalties will kick in if physicians are not compliant with MU by 2015. This will be done in at least three stages, with Stage 1 already in effect (as of January 3, 2011). This will be the first in a series of articles outlining MU and what is in store for radiology. We will go in depth about who is eligible, and how the payment schedule is set up. We will break down the core and menu set measures to suggest what can be excluded by most radiologists. We will also go through some case studies and examine what lies in store for radiology.

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