[EHR Incentive Programs] For the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, does an eligible hospital have to count patients admitted to both the inpatient and emergency departments in the denominator of meaningful use measures, or can they count only emergency department patients?
For the hospital meaningful use objectives, the denominator is all unique patients admitted to an inpatient (POS 21) or emergency department (POS 23), which means all patients admitted to an inpatient department (POS 21) and all patients admitted to an emergency department (POS 23). If the eligible hospital elects to use the alternate method for calculating emergency department patients, as detailed in FAQ #10126 (https://questions.cms.gov/faq.php?id=5005&faqId=2843), the denominator is all unique patients admitted to an inpatient department (POS 21) and all patients that initially present to the emergency department and are treated in the emergency department's observation unit or otherwise receive observation services, which includes patients who receive observation services under both POS 22 and POS 23. Patients admitted to the inpatient department must be included in the denominator of all applicable measures.
For more information about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please visit http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms.