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Meaningful Use and Corrections: Unknown Opportunities  

Author:  Ben Butler.

Source: Volume 15, Number 06, September/October 2014 , pp.81-87(7)

Correctional Health Care Report

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Meaningful use is the linchpin of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, established under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to provide incentive payments to eligible providers that adopt and demonstrate “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. Providers demonstrate meaningful use by “attesting” to certain criteria for different stages of meaningful use. Interest in meaningful use among correctional health services (including both in-house health care providers and contract providers) is manifesting itself at different levels. A few correctional health services have recently begun to participate in meaningful use. Others are thinking about it, while still others are pursuing plans to acquire and implement EHR systems associated with meaningful use, even though they do not intend to participate in the program. This article provides an overview of the meaningful use landscape, emphasizing the applicability of meaningful use to health care provided in jails, as well as exploring the benefits and difficulties of participating in this program for jail health care providers. It also describes the steps that jail health care systems must pursue in order to participate in meaningful use.

Keywords: EHRs (Electronic health records); healthcare information technology; HITECH

Affiliations:  1: Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS).

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