We have been asked some questions about Medical Assistant Credentialing lately and rightfully so. With Meaningful Use, audits, attestation, and the constant changes in healthcare; questions about Medical Assistant Credentialing are expected.
Is Medical Assistant Credentialing just a requirement for meaningful use or will credentialing become a general compliance requirement?
We mentioned in previous articles that Credentialed Medical Assistants may now enter orders into an EHR system and comply with Meaningful Use requirements. Meaningful Use guidelines state that:
"Any licensed healthcare professionals and credentialed medical assistants can enter orders into the medical record for purposes of including the order in the numerator for the objective of CPOE if they can originate the order per state, local and professional guidelines. Credentialing for a medical assistant must come from an organization other than the organization employing the medical assistant."
Will medical assistant credentialing become a general compliance requirement?
In many ways, because of the increased rates of participation in the CMS EHR incentive program, credentialing has already become a requirement. As of June 2014, 75 percent of the nation's eligible professionals and 92 percent of eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) had received incentive payments. While this number is a little misleading, because not all providers are "eligible professionals;" it does show how there has been a steady increase in providers who are participating in meaningful use.
Since January 1, 2013, the idea of a credentialed medical assistant has been a requirement of anyone participating in the incentive program. CMS FAQ 7693 states this as "the description of who can enter orders into the EHR and have it count as CPOE and have it count for purposes of the CPOE measure. This revision is available for EHR reporting periods in 2013 and beyond regardless of what stage of meaningful use the provider is attesting to."
With only 14 states having requirements in place, or who are considering requiring medical assistants to be credentialed; it may explain why there is a great deal of focus being spent on a national standard for credentialing of medical assistants.
A recent report stated that credentialed medical assistants benefit your organization by providing a reliable quality assurance mechanism; more efficient use of resources; and more EHR entries counted towards the CMS EHR incentive program.
Our Medical Assistant Credentialing course meets the CMS EHR incentive program requirements, and more.
If you would like more information about the Medical Assistant Credentialing course or if you have any compliance questions, please feel free to comment below or send us an email at [email protected] or reach us by phone toll-free at 855-427-0427.