(Editor's note: This week HMS welcomes Joe Manthei, R.N., and Lisa Schultz, R.H.I.T., HMS customers from Mille Lacs Health System in Minnesota, as our first guest bloggers. Pictured at right (L to R) are Schultz, Manthei and Judith Beck, consultant.)
No flashing lights. No gong sounds. No bells. No whistles.
No fireworks. No marching bands. No "ta da." No trumpets. No fanfare.
Just a one-page confirmation from the government:
"Your attestation submission is successful. Print this page."
On October 13, 2011, after a 30-minute ordeal of entering numbers and clicking on the “Yes” button, we were happy to announce that Mille Lacs Health System (MLHS) from Onamia, Minnesota, successfully attested to Stage 1 of meaningful use. There was one small glitch that affected data in one report, but our HMS representative, David Hall, was able to intervene on our behalf. By 10 a.m., we received and installed the updated software patches, and the problem report printed out properly.
What does this mean for us at Mille Lacs Health System? In about eight weeks or so, there should be funds from the federal government sent to our financial department because we were able to demonstrate the use of an electronic health record (EHR) in the required manner. There were 14 core measures, five menu measures and 15 clinical quality measures that for the 90-day period of July 3 to September 30 we were able to monitor. This report was filed with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Our Stage 1 attestation is for demonstration of the use of the EHR in the hospital only and was specific for Medicare funds. Soon we should be able to submit our documentation for Medicaid to the State of Minnesota for additional funds.
We do not know how much is targeted for our hospital – we’re hoping we get more than $1.25. It will be federal dollars that had been set aside with the passing of the HITECH Act several years ago.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this Stage 1 attestation successful. Our senior management team of Bill Nelson, CEO, John Unzem, CFO, and Kim Kucera, COO, was instrumental in helping with this success. Our IT manager, Rob Litke, and Judith Beck, consultant, worked closely with the acute care, IT and HIM departments as well as with our Minnesota quality organization: Stratis Health.
We now are moving into Year 2 of our attestation period, which will be 365 days long – from October 1, 2011, until September 30, 2012.
Frank Newlands, M.D.