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Meaningful Use Information Center

In 2009, the U.S. Federal Government signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as part of the stimulus package to help improve the economy. Part of the ARRA Act, the Health Information Technology Act, known as the HITECH Act, provides funding to eligible providers for the adoption of the electronic health record (EHR).


  • improve the quality, safety, cost, and efficiency of health care
  • engage patients and their families in their own healthcare
  • reduce health disparities
  • improve care coordination
  • improve population and public health
  • ensure privacy and security for personal health information

EHR Incentive Program Administration
The HITECH Act is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Most dentists who qualify for incentive payments will qualify under their state Medicaid program, however there are a few specialty dentists that will qualify under the Medicare Program. (See Notable Differences between the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs)

Dental-Specific EHR Incentive Program
Currently, there are no dental specific criteria in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the program and there is not a vendor specific certification for dental. Vendors are required to meet ALL of the certification requirements regardless of whether their customers use them all. Dentrix Meaningful Use Access has met the EHR certification criteria, and once acquired, will help eligible providers qualify for the incentive payment.

Henry Schein and CMS
Henry Schein has communicated closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) since the inception of the EHR Incentive Program to clarify how it affects our customers. We are pleased to have formed a tight-knit relationship with their organization to ensure that the information we provide is completely accurate and the solutions that we provide meet their goals and standards.

Although the Federal Government has not specified dental specific criteria, the American Dental Association (ADA) wrote an article to promote awareness of issues that may affect dentists and dental practices. This may also help you to better understand the government program, and how it affects you and your practice.

Below is a list of terms that you may hear in association with this important legislation. Where available, simply click on the link to learn more about each term.

Eligible Professionals

Healthcare professionals and hospitals must meet the eligibility criteria defined by law in order to receive incentive payments for implementing Electronic Health Records programs. Under the Medicaid Program, an “eligible professional”:

  • Provides at least 30% of their services to Medicaid patients
  • Meets the specific stage and yearly criteria.

Flow Chart – Determine Eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs

Source: Eligibility Requirements for Professionals under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

What is "Meaningful Use?"

  • The use of certified EHR in a meaningful manner (e.g. ePrescribing)
  • The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care
  • Use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality measures (CQM) and other such measures selected by the Secretary of Health and Human Services

Stage I Meaningful Use Criteria

Stage I only requires an EP to meet Meaningful Use in the second year. Year 1 requires an eligible provider to adopt, implement or upgrade to a certified EHR system. The Meaningful Use requirements for Stage 1 Year 2 include:

  • 13 core objectives
  • Choose 5 of 9 objectives from a menu set
  • 6 Clinical Quality Measures (3 core or alternative core and 3 out of 38 from menu set)

Source: Stage I Medicare and Medicaid Meaningful Use Requirements

Stage II Meaningful Use Criteria

In September 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the final rule that specifies the Stage 2 criteria that must be met in order to continue to participate in the EHR Incentive Program. Eligible professionals will not begin Stage 2 requirements until they have participated in Stage 1 for at least two years, depending on when they began participation in the program.

The Meaningful Use requirements for eligible professionals in Stage 2 include:

  • 17 core objectives
  • Choose 3 of 6 objectives from a menu set
  • 9 Clinical Quality Measures (3 core or alternative core and 6 from menu set)

Yearly Criteria, Henry Schein Solution and Potential Incentive Payment
The criteria for an eligible professional to receive EHR incentive payments change as the EHR Incentive Program progresses. The chart below indicates the criteria and potential payment for each stage. In addition, we’ve indicated the Dentrix Enterprise solution for your organization to achieve each of the payments.

Medicaid CriteriaDentrix SolutionPayment
 Stage I
 Year IAdopt, implement or upgrade to a certified EHR*Henry Schein Meaningful Use Access$21,250 
 Year IIDemonstrate "Meaningful Use" of
certified EHR for 90 consecutive days.
Henry Schein Meaningful Use Access$8,500 
 Stage II
 Year IDemonstrate "Meaningful Use" of
certified EHR for 365 consecutive days.
Henry Schein Meaningful Use Access$8,500 
 Year IIContinuing demonstration of
"Meaningful Use"
Henry Schein Meaningful Use Access$8,500 
 Stage III
 Year IContinuing demonstration of
"Meaningful Use"
 Year IIContinuing demonstration of
"Meaningful Use"
Total Potential Payout     $63,750 

* Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Basics

Certified EHR Technology
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs require the use of certified EHR technology. Standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology have been adopted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about Certified EHR Technology, visit the CMS website.

If you meet the Medicaid eligible professional criteria and the stage and year requirements, you must register and attest in order to receive payment. CMS has provided a Registration User Guide that we recommend for your review. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure you're eligible for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. View eligibility guidelines at the Eligibility page.
  2. Login to the CMS System
  3. Register for the Medicare and/or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs through CMS.
  4. Generate the CMS EHR Certification ID number for Dentrix Enterprise by doing the following:
    1. Access The Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL)
    2. Click on '2014 Edition'
    3. Search by Product Name: 'Henry Schein Meaningful Use Access'
    4. Click the 'Add to Cart' link to the right of the Henry Schein Meaningful Use Access
    5. Click the button labeled 'Get CMS EHR Certification ID' in the grey box
  5. Apply with your state Medicaid governing organization. Choose your state here.
  6. Attest for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program through your individual state. Please note—you will not attest for the Medicaid Incentive Program through the CMS website.