Changes in the Vital Signs Core Objective in 2014

Did you know that the vital signs objective is different in 2014? This year there was an increase in patient age limit for recording blood pressure to age 3 and a removal of age limit requirement for height and weight for the Stage 1 objective. These changes mirror the requirements for the objective in Stage 2.

Meeting Vital Signs Requirements

To meet the vital signs requirements, you will need to record more than 50 percent for Stage 1 (80 percent for Stage 2) of all unique patients’ blood pressures (for patients age 3 and over only) and height and weight (for all ages) as structured data using one numerator and denominator. You need to record height and weight, and blood pressure of your patient, as applicable. The certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology will calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) and the growth chart based on age. You are also not required to update height, weight, and blood pressure for every visit by the patient. You can make the decision based on the patient’s individual circumstances.

New Exclusions in 2014 for Eligible Professionals

To meet certain requirements. What are the Requirements and When are the Exclusions Applicable to You?

If you see no patients 3 years or older, you are excluded from recording blood pressure;
If you believe that all three vital signs of height, weight, and blood pressure have no relevance to your scope of practice, you are excluded from recording them;
If you believe that height and weight are relevant to your scope of practice, but blood pressure is not, you are excluded from recording blood pressure; or
You believe that blood pressure is relevant to your scope of practice, but height and weight are not, you are excluded from recording height and weight.

If you meet exclusion (3) or exclusion (4), you must both attest to the exclusion and report the numerator and denominator for the remaining elements of the measure.

More Information

For more information on the Record and Chart Vital Signs measure, review the specification sheets for Stage 1 and Stage 2. For information about other meaningful use measures, visit the Meaningful Use web page.

Source: CMS EHR Incentive Programs Changes

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