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Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use is defined as the use of certified electronic health record technologies in a manner that moves a provider towards or achieves the goals of improving health care quality, efficiency and patient safety. A provider can demonstrate this by adopting and using technologies that meet the criteria, standards and capabilities established in the meaningful use rule. The meaningful use criteria, standards and capabilities will evolve in stages over time to continue to advance the state of HIT.

Specifically for Medicare and Medicaid use common definitions of meaningful use are:

  • Use certified EHR technology to track, record and exchange information including:
    • Use CPOE and ePrescribing
    • Record demographics and vital signs
    • Maintain up-to-date problem lists
    • Check insurance eligibility and submit claims
    • Have capability to exchange key clinical information
    • Have certain technical privacy and security capabilities
  • Capture and submit specific clinical quality measures
  • Can provider patients an electronic copy of their health information

Meaningful Use criteria are divided into stages; each subsequent stage requires more capabilities.

Meaning Use criteria stages

Stage 1 Meaningful Use

Beginning in 2013, there are several changes to the Stage 1 Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs meaningful use objectives, measures and exclusions for eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs) and critical access hospitals (CAHs). These changes took effect on October 1, 2013 for EHs and CAHs and on January 1, 2013 for EPs.

Stage 1 Meaningful Use Changes

Stage 1 Meaningful Use Specifications for EPs

Stage 1 Meaningful Use Specifications for EHs & CAHs


Stage 2 Meaningful Use 

On September 4, 2012, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule that specifies the Stage 2 criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs), and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to continue to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. All providers must achieve meaningful use under the Stage 1 criteria before moving to Stage 2.

To help providers better understand Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements, CMS has developed Stage 2 Meaningful Use Specification Sheets for EPs and EHs that provide detailed information on each Stage 2 objective, including: 

  • How to calculate the numerator and denominator
  • How to qualify for an exclusion
  • Definitions of important terms
  • Requirements for achieving the objectives

Stage 2 Specification Sheets

  1. Eligible Professionals (EPs) 
  2. Eligible Hospitals (EHs) & Critical Access Hospitals

Public Health Meaningful Use Measures for Alaska

For Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use, the Eligible Hospital (EH) or Eligible Professional (EP) must determine which of the below Meaningful Use Public Health measures they plan to report to and register their intent annually to Alaska's public health agency no later than the 60th day of their Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting period. The EHR reporting period is the time period through which an EH or EP seeking a Meaningful Use Incentive payment must demonstrate meaningful use of EHR technology.


​Description ​State System & Status ​Alaska HIE Status ​Point of Contact
Immunization Information System (EPs & EH) ​VacTrAK is able to accept HL7 2.3.1 or 2.5.1 for Stage 1 but HL7 2.5.1 will be required for Stage 2 ​HIE will be able to accept HL& transactions: TBD ​VacTrAK: (907) 269-0312, 1-866-702-8725 or
Reportable Lab Results (Hospitals only) ​LIMS, commercial labs and hospital labs transmit reportable lab results ​HIE will be able to accept HL7 2.5.1 transactions: Date TBD ​HIE will be able to accept HL7 2.5.1 transactions: Date TBD
Electronic Syndromic Surveillance Data  (Hospitals only at this time) ​Alaska has signed a data use agreement to participate in BioSense and is working on the procedures for implementation. ​HIE will be able to accept transactions: Date TBD

​Peggy Cobey, (907) 269-8000 or (907) 269-8005,

Cancer Registry Reporting ​Cancer Registry will accept HL7 CDA file format and will process it using CD-NPCR eMaRC Plus software. ​​HL7 CDA file should be transmitted via HIE's Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) solution. ​Dr. David O'Brien, Data Analyst, Alaska Cancer Registry: (907) 269-8047, (907) 561-1896 (secure fax)​

 Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) public health objectives require an on-going submission of actual patient data, and as described above, EHs and EPs will need to contact Public Health Agencies (PHA) to register their intent to do so. An EH or EP can meeting MU2 public health objective through any of the following four criteria:

  • The EP or EH's ongoing submission was already achieved in the previous reporting period and continues throughout the current reporting period;
  •  EP or EH registers their intent to initiate ongoing submission with the PHA (within 60 days of the start of their EHR reporting period) and ongoing submission was achieved;
  • Registration of intent to initiate ongoing submission was made by the deadline and the EP or EH is still engaged in testing and validation of ongoing electronic submission; or
  • Registration of intent to initiate ongoing submission was made by the deadline and the EP or EH is awaiting invitation to begin testing and validation.

There are two scenarios in which the EP or EH will not meet the deadline:

  • The EP/EH fails to register their intent by the deadline; or
  • The EP/EH fails to participate in the on-boarding process as demonstrated by failure to respond to the PHA's written requests for action within 30 days on two separate occasions.

Registration of Intent Process

The individual EP or EH (there are no group registrations of intent allowed) registers with the PHA as an entity intending to attest to one or more MU public health objectives by completing the Registration of Intent Form and email the completed document to The PHA will contact the EP/EH with information to begin the on-boarding process.  

If you have any questions, please contact the Alaska Medicaid EHR Incentive Program office at:  


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