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The Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

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. Eligible professionals who provide services in a health professional shortage area can receive an additional incentive.
  • To receive 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 several factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment.
  • For 2015 and later, Medicare-eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will receive 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 several factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment.
  • There are no payment adjustments under the Medicaid EHR incentive program.

Timeline:  

  • Oct. 1, 2010-Reporting year begins for eligible hospitals and CAHs.
  • Jan. 1, 2011-Reporting year begins for eligible professionals.
  • Jan. 3, 2011-Registration for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins.
  • Jan. 3, 2011-States may launch their programs for Medicaid providers if they so choose.
  • April 18, 2011-Attestation for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins.
  • May 2011-The first EHR incentive payments were delivered.
  • 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.
  • Sept. 30, 2011-Last day of the federal fiscal year (FFY). Reporting year ends for eligible hospitals and CAHs.
  • Oct. 3, 2011-Last day for eligible professionals to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year (CY) 2011 for the Medicare EHR incentive program.
  • Nov. 30, 2011-Last day for eligible hospitals and CAHs to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for FFY11.
  • Dec. 31, 2011-Reporting year ends for eligible professionals.
  • Feb. 29, 2012-Last day for eligible professionals to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for CY11.
     

For more information, see John Haughom, Skip Kriz and Donn R. McMillan's "Overcoming Barriers to EHR Adoption," hfm, July 2011

Publication Date: Friday, July 01, 2011

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