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A Physician's Perspective: Meaningful Use of Health Technology

Apr 18 2011   10:11PM GMT

Registration for the EHR Incentive Program is now open



Posted by: DrJosephKim
cms, EHR, HITECH, Meaningful use

On April 18, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the registration for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.  Here are some key facts about that program:

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs that demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

  • Participation can begin as early as 2011.
  • Eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 over five years under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. There’s an additional incentive for eligible professionals who provide services in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HSPA).
  • To get the maximum incentive payment, Medicare eligible professionals must begin participation by 2012.
  • Incentive payments for eligible hospitals and CAHs may begin as early as 2011 and are based on a number of factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment.
  • Important! For 2015 and later, Medicare eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will have a payment adjustment in their Medicare reimbursement.

The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology in their first year of participation and demonstrate meaningful use for up to five remaining participation years.

  • The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is voluntarily offered by individual states and territories and may begin as early as 2011, depending on the state.
  • Eligible professionals can receive up to $63,750 over the six years that they choose to participate in the program.
  • Eligible hospital incentive payments may begin as early as 2011, depending on when the state begins its program. The last year a Medicaid eligible hospital may begin the program is 2016. Hospital payments are based on a number of factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment.
  • There are no payment adjustments under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Here are some important dates you’ll want to put on your calendar:

  • April 2011 – Attestation for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program begins.
  • May 2011 – EHR Incentive Payments expected to begin.
  • July 3, 2011 – Last day for eligible hospitals to begin their 90-day reporting period to demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
  • September 30, 2011 – Last day of the federal fiscal year. Reporting year ends for eligible hospitals and CAHs.
  • October 1, 2011 – Last day for eligible professionals to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year 2011 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
  • November 30, 2011 – Last day for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to register and attest to receive an Incentive Payment for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2011.
  • December 31, 2011 – Reporting year ends for eligible professionals.
  • February 29, 2012 – Last day for eligible professionals to register and attest to receive an Incentive Payment for calendar year (CY) 2011.

Are you ready for the incentives? You can learn more about the EHR incentive program here.

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