Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for hospitals – act now
id you know that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offer incentive pay- ments to hospitals that meet certain eligibility and program requirements and use certifi ed
electronic health record (EHR) technology? The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs offer payments starting at a base of $2 million for hospitals (multiplied by a Medicare or Medicaid share). Below are steps on how you can participate:
1. Verify eligibility
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs have slightly different eligibility requirements. To learn more about hospital eligibility, go to the Eligibil- ity page on the EHR Incentive Programs website: https:// www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/15_Eligibility. asp#TopOfPage
2. Register You can register for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs on the CMS website at https:// ehrincentives.cms.gov/hitech. Just select the link for “Eligible Hospitals.”
3. Use certifi ed EHR technology Even if your hospital already uses EHR technology, it must be tested and certifi ed by one of the Authorized Testing and Certifi cation Bodies of the Offi ce of the National Coordina- tor for Health Information Technology specifi cally for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs in order to qualify for incentive payments. Certifi ed EHR technologies are listed at http://onc-chpl.force.com/ehrcert. You do not need to have certifi ed EHR technology in place to register,
but you will need to provide information about your certifi ed EHR technology when you attest.
4. Attest To earn a Medicare incentive payment in 2011, you must attest through the CMS website (at https://ehrincentives. cms.gov/hitech) that your hospital has achieved meaningful use. Under the Medicaid program, your hospital must adopt, implement, upgrade or successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certifi ed EHR technology to receive an incentive pay- ment in year one, and meet meaningful use in subsequent years. If you represent a dually eligible hospital, your hospital can receive a Medicaid and Medicare incentive payment in the same year.
To fi nd out more about the programs, visit the offi cial CMS EHR Incentive Program website at www.cms.gov/ EHRIncentivePrograms.
The Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR)
Incentive Programs were authorized under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The programs provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate “meaningful use” of certifi ed EHR technology in ways that improve quality, safety and effectiveness of patient-centered care. Under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, eligible professionals can receive as much as $44,000 over a consecutive fi ve-year period. Under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, eligible professionals can receive as much as $63,750 over six years. Under both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, millions of dollars are available for eligible hospitals and CAHs that satisfy program requirements. This article provides guidance to professionals and hospitals that may be eligible for EHR incentive payments. However, we urge readers to refer to the regulations for defi nitive rules on eligibility, payment and other requirements. To the extent anything in this guidance con- fl icts with such rules and regulations, our rules and regulations would take precedence. Regulations are available at: https://www.cms.gov/ EHRIncentivePrograms/60_RegulationsNotices.asp#TopOfPage.
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