Health care providers looking to obtain financial incentives for demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health records have to jump through a few hoops to get money from the EHR incentive program. But the federal government would like to make the last step a little easier by giving providers the ability to track the status of their EHR incentive payments after they’ve met the meaningful use requirements.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement an online service — similar to the “Where’s my refund” feature offered by the Internal Revenue Service — that lets providers track the status of their incentive money. Hospitals and providers will use the EHR incentive program website to register for the incentive program, attest to meeting meaningful use requirements and track the status of their payments.
Registration for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins Jan. 3. States may also launch their programs for Medicaid providers on Jan. 3 if they are ready, but, as of earlier this month, many states were having difficulty getting their Medicaid meaningful use programs online for 2011. Part of the problem states are having is that they must demonstrate their ability to interface with the CMS’ National Level Repository (NLR) system, which isn’t ready yet. The NLR is the system that will be used to administer and track all EHR incentive payments to providers.
Attestation for the Medicare program begins in April, and EHR incentive payments are expected to begin in May.