EHR Incentive Registration Begins Jan. 3

Beginning Jan. 3, 2011, registration will be available for eligible health care professionals who wish to participate in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program.  

Eligible providers qualify for incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and successfully demonstrate “meaningful use” of the technology in ways that improve quality, safety, and effectiveness of patient-centered care.

To prepare for registration, interested providers should first familiarize themselves with the incentive programs’ requirements by visiting CMS’ Official Web Site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.  The site provides general and detailed information on the programs, including tabs on the path to payment, eligibility, meaningful use, certified EHR technology, and frequently asked questions.  

The Office of the National Coordinator's (ONC’s) Certified HIT Product List   includes more than 130 certified EHR systems or modules and is updated frequently.  ONC also has hands-on assistance available across the country through 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs), including the Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP).  To find out how OHIP and its regional partners can help eligible Ohio physicians click here .

Key dates for the EHR incentive programs’ first year include:

  • Jan. 3, 2011 – Registration for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins.
  • Jan. 3, 2011 –States that are ready may launch their incentive programs for Medicaid providers;  Ohio Medicaid is expected to launch its program later this month.
  • April 2011 – Attestation for the Medicare EHR incentive program begins.
  • May 2011 – Issuing of Medicare 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 for federal FY 2011.
  • Sept. 30, 2011 – Federal FY 2011 payment year ends at midnight for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs).
  • Oct. 3, 2011 – Last day for eligible professionals to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year 2011 to demonstrate meaningful use 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 federal fiscal year 2011.
  • Dec. 31, 2011 – Calendar 2011 payment year ends for eligible professionals.

Professionals who meet the eligibility requirements for both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs must select which program they wish to participate in when they register.  They cannot participate in both programs; however, after receiving payment, they may change their program selection once before 2015.  Hospitals that are eligible for both programs can receive payments from both Medicare and Medicaid.

Some states will launch their Medicaid EHR incentive programs beginning Jan. 3, 2011, but most will launch their programs during the spring and summer. Eligible providers seeking to participate in the Medicaid programs must initiate registration at CMS’ registration site but must complete the process through an eligibility verification site maintained by their state Medicaid agency.

Under the EHR incentive programs, eligible professionals can receive as much as $44,000 over a five-year period through Medicare.  For Medicaid, eligible professionals can receive as much as $63,750 over six years.  Under both Medicare and Medicaid, eligible hospitals may receive millions of dollars for implementing and meaningfully using certified EHR technology.

 

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