Presentation With Robert Anthony of CMS

On September 29th, I gave a joint presentation with Robert Anthony, deputy director of the Health Information Technology Initiatives Group of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to the House of Delegates at the AAMA 57th Annual Conference in Atlanta. The presentation dealt with the CMS rule for meaningful use order entry. Deputy Director Anthony affirmed some key points I had presented in previous articles and speeches, and provided an overview of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs. He was also kind enough to provide his presentation for your viewing. His presentation and mine are available below, as well as a summary of the key points, as written for the upcoming November/December 2013 issue of CMA Today.

The CMS Rule for Meaningful Use Order Entry

Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

CMS official affirms AAMA positions on meaningful use

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
This entry was posted in Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential, On the Job, Scope of Practice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Presentation With Robert Anthony of CMS

  1. Don, Does this mean here in the State of Washington “grandfathered” CMA-Cs who never took a “national” test ie. CMA(AAMA), RMA, NCCT, or NHA are not considered properly credentialed by CMS?

    Also, as I read your article you state that all “credentialed” MAs have stay current to maintain CMS eligibility? If this is accurate, word needs to get out to all participating clinics nationwide. I could see many MAs just getting the credential to satisfy the initial requirement but not keeping it up.

    • Thank you for this excellent question, Tom. You have pinpointed a key issue.

      It is my opinion that, under WA law, MA-Cs who have been grandfathered because they were Health Care Assistants (HCAs) would not be considered “credentialed medical assistants” under the CMS Incentive Program rule because they did not take and pass an examination. (Technically, the medical assisting credential does not have to be national.) MA-Rs under Washington law would also not be considered credentialed according to the CMS rule, I maintain.

      In regard to the need to maintain currency of a medical assisting credential in order to be considered a “credentialed medical assistant” under the CMS rule, I can just state that a medical assistant whose CMA (AAMA) is not current cannot use the credential for any purpose, and therefore does not meet the CMS requirement. I cannot state definitively that this is the case for other medical assisting credentials.

      Thank you again, Tom. I hope this is helpful.

      Don

  2. Pingback: CMA Ruling for Meaningful Use Order Entry | Washington State Society of Medical Assistants

  3. Pingback: The CMS Rule and “Grandfathering” in Washington | Legal Eye

  4. Krista says:

    So when you are saying only a credentialed MA can enter data into the EMR do you mean they have to be Certified?

    • Thank you for your question. Please see the following from CMS:

      Q: In order to meet the objective for computerized order entry (CPOE) for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, do medical assistants need a specific kind of credential from a specific organization to be considered credentialed and therefore able to enter orders using CPOE that can count in the numerator of the measure?

      A: A credentialed medical assistant is a medical assistant who has received credentials or otherwise been certified by an organization other than the employing organization to perform duties as a medical assistant. CMS does not specify credentialing organizations that would qualify medical assistants under this definition. Medical assistants who are credentialed, certified, licensed, or otherwise affirmed as medical assistants by an organization other than the one which employees them can enter orders for the purpose of this objective.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262  |  Fax: 312/899-1259  |  http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook  

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

      • L. Susser says:

        Hello,

        In your opinion, does CMS consider a medical assistant’s successful completion of medical assisting school a qualified credential for CPOE? In other words, does their certification of completion from medical assisting programs meet the requirement of “otherwise been certified by an organization other than the employing organization to perform duties as a medical assistant”?

        If so, would this satisfy the CMS audit on CPOE?

        Thank you,
        Lisa

      • Thank you for your question. Mr. Anthony of CMS does take the position that completion of a medical assisting academic program does fall within the CMS definition of “credentialed medical assistant” under the CMS rule. However, I respectfully disagree with Mr. Anthony.

        I am of the opinion that, from the context of the language in the CMS rule, a “credentialed medical assistant” is one who has passed a medical assisting examination (such as the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination) given by an objective third-party testing body (such as the Certifying Board of the AAMA), and not by the medical assistant’s employer.

        I hope this is helpful.

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Executive Director, Legal Counsel

        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

        Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  5. Pingback: News From AAMA!! | Washington State Society of Medical Assistants

  6. Martha says:

    Would an Orthopaedic Technologists that has an Orthopaedic Technologist Certified (OTC) certification but also serves as an Medical Assistant be required to earn a Medical Assistant credential in order to enter lab and radiology orders in the EHR in order to meet the MU2 requirements? Or does the OTC certification meet the MU2 requirements of credentialed Medical Assistant? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your question. Here is the answer to the general question from the CMS website:

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      [EHR Incentive Programs] When meeting the meaningful use measure for computerized provider order entry (CPOE) in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs, does an individual need to have the job title of medical assistant in order to use the CPOE function of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) for the entry to count toward the measure, or can they have other titles as long as their job functions are those of medical assistants?
      If a staff member of the eligible provider is appropriately credentialed and performs similar assistive services as a medical assistant but carries a more specific title due to either specialization of their duties or to the specialty of the medical professional they assist, he or she can use the CPOE function of CEHRT and have it count towards the measure. This determination must be made by the eligible provider based on individual workflow and the duties performed by the staff member in question. Whether a staff member carries the title of medical assistant or another job title, he or she must be credentialed to perform the medical assistant services by an organization other than the employing organization. Also, each provider must evaluate his or her own ordering workflow, including the use of CPOE, to ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local law and professional guidelines.

      Created: 08/20/2013

      (FAQ9058)

      Note in particular the following sentence from the above:
      If a staff member of the eligible provider is appropriately credentialed and performs similar assistive services as a medical assistant but carries a more specific title due to either specialization of their duties or to the specialty of the medical professional they assist, he or she can use the CPOE function of CEHRT and have it count towards the measure.

      This is a difficult question to answer. Although the OTC is a certification, I would lean toward stating that the OTC is not an “appropriate credential” as defined above because—I am assuming—the OTC does not contain an element of measuring proficiency and knowledge in electronic order entry.

      I hope this is helpful. It might be best to contact CMS directly and ask your question. However, my opinion, based on the above CMS FAQ and my assumption about the OTC credential, is that it would not meet the CMS definition of “credentialed medical assistant,” and therefore would not permit the holder of the OTC to enter orders into the CPOE for meaningful use purposes.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

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  8. Christine says:

    I was a c.n.a but i let my certification laps i would like to know if i could be grandfathered in the year was certified was 1993 do i fall in to that category?

    • Thank you for your question. Are you asking about a certified nursing assistant (CNA) credential or the CMA (AAMA) credential?

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

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