Medicare and Medicaid Incentives for Meaningful Use of EHR
In an effort to improve quality, safety and efficiency of care, from the upgrade to
ICD-10 to information exchanges of EHR technology, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the "HITECH Act" has established number of programs under Medicare and Medicaid. The EHR
incentive programs provide $17.2 billion over 5 years in Medicare and Medicaid incentive
payments to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The programs have begun in 2011.
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The Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs provide a financial reward for the meaningful use
of qualified, certified EHRs to achieve health and efficiency goals. By implementing a certified EHR system, providers will reap benefits beyond financial incentives - like reduction in errors, availability of records and data, reminders and alerts, clinical decision support and e-Prescribing/refill automation.
Payments are structured to encourage early adoption and penalties discourage procrastination.
As eligibility is based on usage, even physicians who already use EHR systems will be eligible. Whether you already use an EHR system or just starting to survey the landscape, RevenueXL can help you navigate this process.
Registering for EHR Incentives
Information on registration for EHR incentive programs is available on CMS website. Registration for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program has started in January 2011 and will be available online. Registration for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program has also begun, but the timing will vary by State.
EHR Incentive Payment Timelines
CMS expects that Medicare incentive will begin to be paid in May 2011. Medicaid incentives will be paid by the States and will also begin in 2011 but the timing will vary by State. Under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, incentives can also be paid for the adoption, implementation, or upgrade of certified EHR technology.