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WK 6 DBF 2 NURS 521 Kimberly ONGThe Impact of Meaningful Use Criterion and the Shift to a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System for Healthcare ReimbursementIn 2004 the gross domestic product for healthcare spending in the United States had reached 16%, there were 575,000 deaths from medical errors between 2000-2003 and, we ranked last among 11 other countries regarding healthcare outcomes. (Smith et al., 2006, p.192) (Makary &Daniel, 2016, p. 1) (Davis et al., 2014, para.11). The impetus for change was set into motion that same year with the signing of Executive Order 13335 by President Bush in which would create within the Department of Health and Human Services the Office of the National Coordinator for Health information Technology (ONC) (DeSalvo et al., 2015, p. 508). The ONC’s primary objectives have held steadfast to ensure all American’s would have an accessible electronic health record (EHR) in a nationally connected database to achieve improved healthcare outcomes, decreased healthcare spending, and overall improve health for the nation through health informationtechnology (DeSalvo et al., 2015, p. 508).At the inception of the ONC the federal government established guidelines and money that would be used over the next 10 years to “incentivize healthcare providers to implement and use health IT” (Nelson & Staggers, 2018, p.456). Although in 2009 hallmark legislation was passed known as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or Stimulus Act which then released federal money into The Health information Technology for Education and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) headed by the ONC (DeSalvo et al., 2015, p. 508). Within this re-enforced version HITECH was authorized “roughly $36 billion worth of “incentives for the use of Health
Information Technology” ultimately up to $44,000 for Medicare-eligible or $63,750 for Medicaid-eligible providers, creating a rush to adopt qualifying systems” and “overnight the marketing literature and operational focus of medical software vendors changed from increased efficiency and patient satisfaction to incentive eligibility”(Settles, 2016, para. 2-3).Meaningful Use (MU) was introduced along with HITECH, guided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) and the ONC to establish literally the “meaningful use of interoperable health records” via “through the use of certified EHR technology in a meaningful manner (for example electronic prescribing); ensuring that the certified EHR technology connects in a manner that provides for the electronic exchange of health information to improve the quality of care”(Introduction | Meaningful Use | CDC, 2019, para.1-2).The CMS and ONC/HHS established clearly outlined goals and objectives over 3 stages with identified Medicare and Medicaid providers and institutions based on their level of implementation and compliance they could then receive structured monetary incentives over a 5 year period approximately from 2010 through 2015 (Introduction | Meaningful Use | CDC, 2019, para.3-5).As with any new program, especially in the context of the government acting as the leader for HITECH, ONC, HHS and MU were met with challenges