October Newsletter


Meaningful Use

What You Should Know Now

As 2013 heads swiftly toward its end, there are several key dates approaching around Meaningful Use:

  • October 3, 2013: The last day for eligible professionals (EPs) to begin the 90-day reporting period for calendar year 2013 under the Medicare Incentive Program. 
  • January 1, 2014: Starting date on which EPs will be able to begin attesting to Meaningful Use Stage 2/ 
  • February 28, 2014: The final deadline for reporting attestation results for 2013 and qualifying for the Medicare MU financial incentive. 

GaHIN and its member network can help you achieve Meaningful Use, the set of standards defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Incentive Programs that governs the use of electronic health records and allows eligible providers  (EPs) and hospitals to earn incentive payments by meeting specific criteria. Meaningful Use is designed to promote the spread of electronic health records to improve health care in the United States.

To achieve Meaningful Use, EPs and hospitals must adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specific objectives. These objectives and measures are evolving and rolling out in three stages over a five-year time period. 

The first steps in achieving Meaningful Use are to have a certified electronic health record (EHR)  and show EHRs are being “meaningfully used” by meeting thresholds for a number of objectives, in order to receive an incentive payment. 

All providers begin participating by meeting the Stage 1 requirements for a 90-day period in their first year of Meaningful Use, and a full year in their second year. After meeting the Stage 1 requirements, providers will then have to meet Stage 2 requirements for two full years.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 brings many changes, including higher thresholds of utilization compared to Stage 1, such as expanded Clinical Quality Measures, increased requirements for e-prescribing and incorporating lab results, electronic transmission of patient care summaries across multiple settings, and more patient-controlled data. For example, when a provider needs to refer a patient outside of their care, the system will be able to automatically generate a referral document to the referring provider.

For more information about Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Stage 2, and how GaHIN can help, contact us or visit our website.




Connecting The Docs

Dr. James Morrow, Morrow Family Medicine

We’re all accustomed to being connected at home, work and on the go. That same level of connectivity has now transcended into the delivery of healthcare to the Georgia community. Dr. James Morrow, family medicine practitioner and founder of Morrow Family Medicine in Cumming, Georgia, is a firm believer in the power of health IT to revolutionize medicine, and an early supporter of GaHIN.


“It’s one of the things that will benefit physicians the most. We absolutely have to do this.”


Hear why Dr. Morrow is a strong supporter of electronic health information exchange, and why GaHIN makes sense for him.



GaHIN Chairman:  Dennis White

GaHIN Executive Director:  Denise Hines

GaHIN Vice Chairman:  Dr. Morrow

Georgia State Health IT Coordinator:  Kelly Gonzalez