EHR Incentives Program

Medicare and Medicaid Incentives for Meaningful Use of EHR

In an effort to improve quality, safety and efficiency of care, from the upgrade to EHR and EMR  IncentivesICD-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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EHR Stimulus Timelines

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs provide a financial reward for the meaningful useof 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.

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EHR Incentives - Important Dates

  1. January 1, 2011 – Reporting year begins for eligible professionals.
  2. January 3, 2011 – Registration for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program begins.
  3. January 3, 2011 – For Medicaid providers, states may launch their programs if they so choose.
  4. April 2011 – Attestation for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program begins.
  5. May 2011 – EHR Incentive Payments expected to begin.
  6. 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.
  7. December 31, 2011 – Reporting year ends for eligible professionals.
  8. February 29, 2012 – Last day for eligible professionals to register and attest to receive an Incentive Payment for calendar year (CY) 2011.