Meaningful Use Can be Meaningful for Radiologists, Too

September 1, 2011
Todd Neff

With an estimated $1.5 billion in potential bonus payments at stake, radiologists should study and respond to recent federal regulations related to meaningful use of complete certified ambulatory electronic health records and their equivalents, say authors of a study in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

With an estimated $1.5 billion in potential bonus payments at stake, radiologists should study and respond to recent federal regulations related to meaningful use of complete certified ambulatory electronic health records and their equivalents, said authors of a study in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Meaningful use is a hot topic thanks to major incentives for providers who “meaningfully use” certified EHR systems, as well as the looming penalties for those who don’t.

According to meaningful-use experts, many radiologists mistakenly believe they were left out of the meaningful use rewards or that compliance is technically impractical. However, “with diligent preparation, including the adoption of new technology and workflows, the vast majority of radiologists can qualify before October 2012 to capture the full available rewards and avoid later penalties,” said Murray A. Reicher, MD, FACR, co-author of the article and chairman of DR Systems, Inc.

Reicher recommended radiologists get to know the technology and clinical objectives. He also said radiologists should become active participants in their hospital information systems planning process.

“The regulations do not make it easy for radiologists and other specialists to qualify, but they will need to comply nevertheless, using existing and potentially emerging technologies,” Reicher said, adding that the required integration with EHR systems stands to improve patient care.