To assist healthcare providers with the cost of implementing and using EHRs, Congress appropriated approximately $30 billion as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This money is intended to help hospitals and physician practices acquire and use this technology to improve the quality of patient care over the next several years and can be earned when providers meet the standards of “Meaningful Use” established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Who Is Eligible?
Under the Medicare program, physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists and chiropractors are eligible for federal EHR incentives. Under the Medicaid program, physicians, dentists, certified nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners are eligible if they have a specified volume of Medicaid patients. Physician assistants are eligible under Medicaid if they practice at a federally qualified health center or rural health center led by a physician assistant. Hospital based professionals are not eligible under either program. It is important to note that a professional cannot receive incentives from both Medicare and Medicaid.
How Does a Provider Qualify?
To qualify for incentive payments, meaningful use requirements must be met in the following ways:
- Medicare EHR incentive program - Eligible professionals and hospitals must successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology every year they participate in the program.
- Medicaid EHR incentive program - Eligible professionals and hospitals may qualify for incentive payments for the adoption, implementation, upgrade or the demonstration of meaningful use in their first year of participation. They must successfully demonstrate meaningful use for the remaining years they participate in the program.
For Additional Information on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs visit the following links:
The Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
Medicare Incentive Payments Tip Sheet