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About Meaningful Use

The American Reinvestment & Recovery Act (ARRA) was enacted on February 17, 2009. ARRA includes many measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, one of which is the "Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act". The HITECH Act supports the concept of Electronic Health Records


National Meaningful Use Public Health Focused Forums

The following forums foster collaboration among public health jurisdictions, EHR vendors, national public health organizations, and other stakeholders to support the widespread adoption of EHRs for meaningful use and to improve population and public health. For more information on these initiatives and recurring webinars use the links provided.

Meaningful Use Public Health Technical Assistance Team

The CDC and ONC have a team to help resolve issues and answer questions related to the public health objectives in Meaningful Use. To request assistance regarding issue or to submit question, please email with “Request for Technical Assistance” in the Subject line.

Stage 2 Meaningful Use Fact Sheets

Stage 3 Meaningful Use Fact Sheets

  • Coming soon!

Public Health Options

The following public health objectives are included in Stage 2 MU. For specific information, guidance, and instructions on reporting data to public health for these objectives, eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs), and critical access hospitals (CAHs) need to contact their state or local public health agency, immunization registry, or cancer registry.
While the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is not a direct recipient of data from healthcare providers, the Eligible Professionals (EPs), the Eligible Hospitals (EHs), or Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) for the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Meaningful Use (MU) Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs, there is a new option per the final rule on modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017;  National Health Care Surveys can be used to meet the specialized registry public health reporting objective.  EPs, EHs or CAHs can now use submission of data to CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for the National Health Care Surveys as one of the measures to meet their public health objectives requirements under the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs.



Immunization Information Systems (IIS) are confidential, population-based, computerized information systems that attempt to collect vaccination data about all individuals within a geographic area.

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Syndromic surveillance allows public health to monitor syndromes, or collections of symptoms, over time to quickly and accurately detect outbreaks or monitor diseases, disorders, or conditions.

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Specialized Registries

Reporting to registries is an integral part of improving population and public health. The Meaningful Use Stage 2 regulations added a new public health related menu (optional) objective for Eligible Professionals, the capability to identify and report specific cases to a specialized registry, other than a cancer registry.

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Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) is the electronic transmission from laboratories to public health of laboratory reports which identify reportable conditions.

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Cancer Reporting

Cancer reporting to public health central cancer registries is a new menu (optional) objective for Eligible Professionals in Meaningful Use Stage 2.

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Antimicrobial Use and Resistance Reporting

For 2016, NHSN Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use reporting has been identified as a new option for public health registry reporting under Meaningful Use Stage 3.

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Health Care Surveys

The National Health Care Surveys are designed to answer key questions of interest to health care policy makers, public health professionals, and researchers.

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In The Spotlight

  • CMS has recently released additional FAQs for guidance on meeting Public Health Objective for 2015 EHR Reporting Period. For more details click here
  • New!- A) 2015 Edition Health Information Technology (Health IT) Certification Criteria, 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Modifications Final Rule – October 6, 2015
    B) CMS recently released a final rule that specifies criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. The final rule’s provisions encompass 2015 through 2017 (Modified Stage 2) as well as Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond.
  • Final Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 Released
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with over 35 federal partners, has released the updated Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015–2020 (Plan).
    2015 September 23
  • CMS released a proposed rule for Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for public comment. Access this proposed rule here.
    2015 April 30
  • ONC released the proposed rule for 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria for public comment. Access this proposed rule here.
    2015 March 25
  • CMS released the proposed rule for Stage 3 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for public comment. Access this proposed rule here.
    2015 March 25
  • CMS published several new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the Meaningful Use public health objectives. Find these new FAQs here.
    2015 March 25
  • New EHR Meaningful Use Learning Resources are now available. Access these recorded educational webinars here.
    2014 December 8
  • Coming Up! Special Webinar on "2014 Ebola Response in U.S.- Using Travel History within Clinical Workflow"
    Find out more here
    2014 October 16
  • New ONC Final Rule for the 2014 Edition Release 2 EHR Certification Criteria (2014 Edition Release 2) and the ONC HIT Certification Program. Find the new Final Rule here.
    2014 September 11
  • New CMS Final Rule allows flexibility in certified EHR technology (CEHRT) for 2014 for providers who are unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT in 2014 due to delays in CEHRT availability. Find the new Final Rule here.
    2014 September 9
  • North Carolina Division of Public Health shares the User Guide for their MU Registration of Intent web portal. Find the guide here.
    2014 August 8
  • Stage 2 MU Public Health Reporting Requirements Task Force members have shared example templates for MU related communications between PHAs and MU eligible providers. Find these templates Here.
    (Note: Templates updated 12/16/2014)
    2014 May 27
  • North Carolina and Pennsylvania public health agencies have shared tools used to support onboarding of hospitals for the MU Stage 2 Reportable Lab Results objective. Find these tools here.
    2014 April 21

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