Medicare (CMS) believes that in order to capture and/or share patient data efficiently, providers will need an electronic health record (EHR) that stores data in a structured form and allows providers to use the EHR in a way that enhances patient care.
In order for you to qualify for an incentive payment to assist in your implementation of an EHR, you must use an EHR that is certified specifically for the EHR incentive program. Using a certified EHR to report PQRS data is also one way to avoid payment penalties. Using certified EHR technology gives assurance to other users of the electronic system that your system has the necessary technological capability, functionality and security to meet the meaningful use criteria. Certification of the software further reassures other users of the CEHRT system.
It should also be noted that while you may have an EHR program in your office, it may not be certified for use in the EHR incentive program. If you want to find out if the software you already own or are contemplating owning is CEHRT certified, you should go to the website of the Office of the National Coordinator and check it out.
According to CMS, during attestation, they will require each eligible professional to provide a CMS EHR certification ID. This identifies that a certified EHR technology is being used to demonstrate meaningful use. The ID number can be obtained at the Office of the National Coordinator.