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CMS Releases Updated Meaningful Use FAQ

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated frequently asked question (FAQ) Feb. 25 that provides information on two methods for calculating the denominators of meaningful use objectives that include emergency department (ED) admissions, such as recording of patient demographics and changes in vital signs.

The FAQ states that hospitals must select either the all ED visits method or the observation services method and consistently apply it to all denominators. Under the all ED visits method, all ED visits are included in the denominator for all objectives requiring inclusion of ED admissions. Under the observation services method, the denominator should include the following visits to the ED:

  • patients who were admitted to the inpatient department either directly or through the ED
  • patients who initially presented to the ED and received observation services and patients who received observation services in both an outpatient hospital setting and the ED

In addition, CMS released four new FAQs that cover the following topics: reporting information related to clinical quality measures, meaningful use objectives requiring patient action, and transition of care in the summary of care objective.

Please contact Xiaoyi Huang, director of policy, at or 202.585.0127 with feedback or questions.



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