Meaningful Use

About Measures Review

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives for the “meaningful use” (MU) of certified EHR technology. To receive an EHR incentive payment, providers have to show that they are “meaningfully using” their certified EHR technology by meeting certain measurement thresholds that range from recording patient information as structured data to exchanging summary care records. CMS has established these thresholds for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs).


The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs include three stages with increasing requirements for participation. All providers begin participating by meeting the Stage 1 requirements for a 90-day period in their first year of meaningful use and a full year in their second year of meaningful use. After meeting the Stage 1 requirements, providers will then have to meet Stage 2 requirements for two full years. Eligible professionals participate in the program on the calendar years, while eligible hospitals and CAHs participate according to the Federal fiscal year.*


While SAMHSA recognizes that specialty care providers may have had less opportunity to take advantage of some of the incentives associated with the adoption and implementation of EHRs and thus, demonstrate limited utilization of MU measures, SAMHSA’s Health IT Strategic Initiative team, in collaboration with CBHSQ staff, are identifying ways to assist in this area for behavioral health providers. In addition, the National Behavioral Health Quality Framework (NBHQF), which contains core quality measure recommendations for payers, providers, and communities includes the behavioral health measures included in previous versions of MU. SAMHSA has also contributed measures for consideration for MU-3.


*all material above the asterisk is taken from

Last Updated: 09/18/2014