The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provide financial compensation for the "Meaningful Use" of certified EHR technology to achieve health and efficiency goals. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 specifies three main components of Meaningful Use:

  1. The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner, such as e-prescribing.
  2. The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care.
  3. The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measures.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is actively working with eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) to help them meet the required public health objectives in order to qualify for Meaningful Use incentives.

Stage 1 Meaningful Use

The final rule for Stage 1 Meaningful Use requires eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to choose at least one public health objective from the set of menu objectives, which includes electronically submitting one of the following:

  • Immunization Information
  • Reportable Electronic Laboratory Results (eligible hospitals only)
  • Syndromic Surveillance

Stage 2 Meaningful Use

For Stage 2 Meaningful Use (2014 Rules), requirements include

  • On-going submission of electronic data for immunizations in the core (mandatory) set for eligible professionals
  • On-going submission of electronic data for immunizations, reportable laboratory results and syndromic surveillance in the core set for eligible hospitals
  • In addition, eligible professionals have menu (optional) objectives for supporting specialized registries. MDPH will be collecting data for its Cancer Registry

Immunization Information

The Immunization Program of the MDPH launched the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS), a statewide immunization registry, in 2010. The MIIS is currently available to receive electronic messages from eligible providers for Meaningful Use purposes. The MIIS accepts electronic immunization messages (VXU) in the HL7 2.5.1 format from certified electronic health record systems. Detailed technical specifications and other information for electronically exchanging data with the MIIS are available at via the link Information for Providers. Additional technical information is available upon request.

Please note that pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 111, Section 24M all licensed health care providers that administer immunizations are required to report immunization data to the MIIS.

For more information, and to formally register intent to submit immunization data, please contact the MIIS Help Desk: 617-983-4335 or

Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR)

Electronic Laboratory Reporting is a secure, automated mechanism for the reporting of laboratory and patient information by hospitals and commercial laboratories. ELR facilitates accurate and timely automated entry of this information into MAVEN. Therefore, sudden changes in disease trends may be more quickly identified than could otherwise occur with manual data entry of paper laboratory reports received by mail. ELR is mandated in accordance with 105 CMR 300.170 (Laboratory Findings Indicative of Infectious Disease reportable Directly to the Department by Laboratories). For more information please contact

The MDPH ELR portal meets Meaningful Use Stage 2 (2014 Rules) requirements as of October 1, 2013.

MDPH is able to transform messages currently sent from hospitals (in HL7 2.3.1 or SMF formats) to HL7 2.5.1 format; MDPH also accepts HL7 2.5.1 messages. A copy of the Meaningful Use certificate and a letter stating that the hospital routinely sends electronic laboratory reports to MDPH will be provided to all data providers upon request.

MDPH offers umbrella certification for all eligible hospitals currently submitting electronic laboratory reports. These hospitals will be viewed as having formally registered intent to submit  ELR for the purposes of Meaningful Use.

For more information, please contact: Sita Smith, HIE Coordinator, Office of Integrated Surveillance and Informatics, BID, MDPH (, telephone: 617-983-6547).

Syndromic Surveillance

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will be accepting syndromic surveillance data for Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

MDPH will utilize CDC’s BioSense 2.0 (see for syndromic surveillance activities. Hospitals will have access to their data in BioSense.  The state-wide Health Information Exchange (Mass HIway) will serve as the infrastructure to aggregate and send data to Biosense. Biosense data are to be held in the Amazon Cloud. The data transmission will be in accordance with the standards set forth by the Office of the National Coordinator in order to meet Meaningful Use requirements.

Syndromic surveillance data should comply with the HL7 Implementation Guide for Syndromic Surveillance.

MDPH is accepting syndromic data from Eligible Hospital Emergency Departments only. All other data providers are exempt from the Syndromic Surveillance component of Meaningful Use attestation.

For programmatic information about Syndromic Surveillance, please contact: Sita Smith, HIE Coordinator, Office of Integrated Surveillance and Informatics, BID, MDPH (, telephone: 617-983-6547).

To formally register intent to submit Syndromic Surveillance data for Meaningful Use, please contact the Mass HIway at or call 855-MA-HIWAY (855-624-4929).

Cancer Registry

In support of physician cancer reporting and Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU2), the Massachusetts Cancer Registry (MCR) will be implementing electronic reporting from certified electronic health record (EHR) systems.  EHR reporting is designed to be secure, automated, and unobtrusive to practice operations.  Successful ongoing submission to the MCR using this EHR reporting method will assist eligible professionals in receiving Medicare and Medicaid incentive funds.

Reporting will be accepted from EHR software certified by an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body and will be in accordance with the Implementation Guide for Ambulatory Healthcare Provider Reporting to Central Cancer Registries (August 2012).  If you are interested in reporting to the MCR using a certified EHR, or have questions please Susan T. Gershman (  Please check this website for future updates.

Specialized Registry

Among the menu items for achieving compliance with Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements is the attestation of the eligible hospital or eligible professional that they have “the capability to identify and report specific cases to a specialized registry (other than a cancer registry), except where prohibited, and in accordance with applicable law and practice”. The Bureau of Infectious Disease Prevention, Response and Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will be implementing electronic infectious disease case report data into a specialized registry.

More details, including data specifications, transport mechanisms and contact information will be made available shortly. If you are interested in reporting case report data for reportable infectious diseases, please contact Sita.C.Smith There will be an update to this website in January 2014

Helpful Links:


This information is provided by Bureau of Infectious Disease within the Department of Public Health.