Meaningful Use

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 provides the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) with the authority to establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health IT, including electronic health records and private and secure electronic health information exchange.

Under HITECH, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specified objectives.

Meaningful use (MU), in a health information technology (HIT) context, defines the use of electronic health records (EHR) and related technology within healthcare as mandated by the HITECH Act.  Achieving meaningful use also helps determine whether an organization will receive payments from the federal government under either the Medicare EHR Incentive Program or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

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