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Meaningful Use EHR

Identification and treatment of tobacco use also are likely to increase among health-care providers who become “meaningful users” of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services EHR Incentive Program includes tobacco use identification, assessment and intervention core (required) measures, as follows:

  • Eligible physicians and hospitals must assess smoking status of patients 13 year of age and older and document in the electronic health record
  • Eligible physician providers in practices and outpatient clinics also must implement clinical quality measures on tobacco use assessment and intervention.
  • See the diagram below for a structured view of Meaningful Use tobacco measures

Meaningful Use core measures, including the tobacco measures, are increasingly important. Extending beyond CMS meaningful use incentives, these measures have now been adopted as the standard quality measures for ALL new HHS/CMS initiatives, including Accountable Care Organizations and payment reform initiatives.


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The Collaborative offers a comprehensive Meaningful Use webinar. This webinar features two experts who take you step-by-step through Meaningful Use, the core and menu set objectives, and the tobacco-specific measures. The webinar also includes a segment on how a system of tobacco interventions integrated into EHRs and the use of quitlines can meet a number of Meaningful Use requirements. Visit the official  CMS incentive program website for more information.

In addition, providers that meet the core tobacco measures may also satisfy several other core and menu set objectives. Further, physician patient referral from the electronic record to telephone–based quitlines is also likely to satisfy the clinical tobacco intervention requirements. The Collaborative has submitted a request for clarification from CMS.

On August 24, 2012, CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator released Stage 2 Rules for Meaningful Use.  For more information, please see our Stage 2 Rules page.

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