Get Familiar with Stage 1 Meaningful Use Changes

The Stage 2 rule for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs included changes to the Stage 1 meaningful use objectives, measures and exclusion for eligible professionals (EPs).

Medical Billing NewsletterEffective January 1, 2013

Stage 1 Objective

Changes to Objective

Reporting Status

Use Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) for medication orders directly entered by any licensed healthcare professional

Added Alternative Measure:

More than 30% of medication orders created by the EP during the EHR reporting period are recorded using CPOE.

 An EP may select either measure for this objective in Stage 1 in order to achieve meaningful use. (Note: This alternative measure will be required for all providers in Stage 2.)

Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically (eRx)

Added Additional Exclusion: 

Any EPwho does not have a pharmacy within their organization and there are no pharmacies that accept electronic prescriptions within 10 miles of the EP's practice location at the start of his/her EHR reporting period.


Reporting of exclusion is required.

Record and chart changes in vital signs


Changed Age Limitations on Growth Charts and Blood Pressure:

More than 50 percent of all unique patients seen by the EP during the EHR reporting period have blood pressure (for patients age 3 and over only) and height and weight (for all ages) recorded as structured data.

Reporting of this measure is optional.

Record and chart changes in vital signs


Changed:  The age and splitting the EP exclusion.

Any EP who

(1) Sees no patients 3 years or older is excluded from recording blood pressure;

(2) Believes that all three vital signs of height, weight, and blood pressure have no relevance to their scope of practice is excluded from recording them;

(3) Believes that height and weight are relevant to their scope of practice, but blood pressure is not, is excluded from recording blood pressure; or

(4) Believes that blood pressure is relevant to their scope of practice, but height and weight are not, is excluded from recording height and weight.


Reporting of this exclusion is optional.

Public Health Reporting Objectives


Changed:  All of the Stage 1 public health objectives (submitting data to an immunization registry, submitting data to a syndromic surveillance database, or submitting reportable lab results to a public health agency) will require that providers perform at least one test of their Certified EHR Technology’s capability to send data to public health agencies, except where prohibited. 

Reporting required for all Stage 1 public health objectives.

Capability to exchange key clinical information (for example, problem list, medication list, medication allergies, and diagnostic test results), among providers of care and patient authorized entities electronically

Changed: Objective now part of Stage 2.


Reporting of this measure is mandatory.

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