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On your marks, get set, attest: Medicare EHR incentive program begins

Those who can attest to meeting Stage 1 meaningful use criteria for a 90-day span, congratulations!

If you’ve had your act together since January 1, you could be in the first group to claim money through the Medicare EHR incentive program. The first 90-day period of meaningful use wrapped up at the beginning of April. Remember, 90 days is all that’s required for the first year of meaningful use — and for the maximum payment of $44,000 for eligible providers and millions for hospitals.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will open up attestation for meaningful users on April 18. (Right now, eligible providers can get a sneak preview of the attestation system.)

The beginning of attestation is a major milestone for the federal program designed to electronically connect patient records from coast to coast.

Everywhere you look, the Medicare EHR incentive program has seen transitions and potential setbacks. Longtime HIT coordinator Dr. David Blumenthal resigned, hatchet-wielding House Republicans threatened HITECH Act funding, and the seemingly inevitable government shutdown would have slowed the U.S. Department of Health &Human Services, the CMS parent agency, to a crawl. (Although Washington somehow averted a shutdown last week, that whole soap opera isn’t over yet.)

But here we are. It probably goes without saying, but we will anyway. Considering the toxic political environment pervading our nation’s capital, the earlier you apply for funding through the Medicare EHR incentive program, the more likely you are to see your check.

Providers eligible for the Medicaid EHR incentive program — especially those sitting on thumbs, waiting for a state program to come online — needn’t feel left out. CMS has aggregated the state incentive programs in one handy document, which includes links to state programs’ landing pages as well as expected launch dates for those still in the process of coming online.

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On your marks, get set, ATTEST! Medicare #EHR incentive program begins #HealthIT #hitgov #hitsm
In case you haven't heard, #Medicare #EHR incentive attestation begins Monday #meaningfuluse #HITpol
RT @SearchHealthIT: In case you haven't heard, #Medicare #EHR incentive attestation begins Monday #meaningfuluse #H ...
RT @SearchHealthIT: In case you haven't heard, #Medicare #EHR incentive attestation begins Monday #meaningfuluse #H ...
The system is estimated to cost over 12 percent of the federal budget. In 2010, that was worth $452 billion. Now, a new system is aiming to cut these costs. A $100 million grant is intended to help Medicare recipients cut down on smoking and reduce weight. If the system works, people wouldn't have to take out I[A href=""]nstallment loans[/A] for medical bills either.
Has your organization achieved #MeaningfulUse? Medicare #EHR Incentive attestation starts Monday. via @HITExchange
What can providers/hospitals without an established State Medicaid EHR Program do to put pressure on the State Medicaid Office to accelerate the process? In MA, it's announced that the online system will be up late summer 2011.
In addition to the financial advantages of qualifying for these incentive payments, which probably could prevent consumers from taking [A href=""][B]unsecured personal loans for bad credit[/B][/A], during the first four years of the program, providers that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will receive a downward adjustment to their Medicare reimbursement, beginning with CY 2015 and beyond. In order to successfully attest, eligible providers need to be familiar with the specific meaningful use criteria that they must meet.