EHR Medicare & Medicaid Stimulus Incentive Payments
Stimulus Plan EHR Incentive Payments
Focused on EHR technologies, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) includes over $60B, designed to stimulate health care IT (HIT) adoption by the medical community over the next few years. On July 13, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule on the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs under Medicare and Medicaid. According to the Act, Physicians are eligible to receive up to $44,000 in total incentives per physician from Medicare for “meaningful use” of a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) starting in 2011. Eligible Professionals reimbursed by Medicaid can receive up to $63,750 starting in 2011 for meaningful use of a certified EHR. Find out how AdvancedMD certified EHR can help you obtain maximum stimulus dollars.
Economic Incentives, The Stimulus Plan & AdvancedMD EHR
With unprecedented incentives of up to $44,000 for Medicare eligible Physicians and up to $63,750 for Medicaid Eligible Professionals implementing electronic health records (EHR), there is a lot of interest on behalf of medical practices to learn more about the 2009 Stimulus Plan and how they can benefit from it. Therefore, we have created this site as an information center covering some of the most commonly asked questions on the final rule and the EHR Incentive Programs.
General Stimulus Overview
What is the Economic Stimulus Plan?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), widely referred to as the Economic Stimulus Plan, was signed into law in February 2009. The Act aims to stimulate the economy through investments in infrastructure, unemployment benefits, transportation, education, and health care.
What are the Different EHR Meaningful Use Incentive Options?
There are two incentive payment programs available to Eligible Professionals (EPs) outlined under the HITECH Act – one through Medicare and another from Medicaid. An Eligible Provider can only submit for payment of an incentive bonus from one of the programs so you will need to analyze your public payer mix to determine whether you stand to benefit most. Both require that an Eligible Provider prove “Meaningful Use” of a certified EHR product to qualify for the incentives.How do Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs Differ?
Listed below are the general differences in the two EHR incentive programs.
Medicare EHR Incentive Program
Medicaid EHR Incentive Program
Can participate in 2011
Required to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology every year to qualify for payment
Can participate once my state offers the program (Check with your state for expected launch date.)
Must participate by 2016 to receive the maximum incentive payment
No penalties for non-use of EHR technology
However, if you are treating Medicare patients and receiving Medicare reimbursement for care provided, you may receive financial penalties for non-use of EHR technology beginning 2016
Can I Receive EHR Incentives from Medicare & Medicaid Programs?
No. If you are an EP that is eligible for both the Medicare and the Medicaid incentive programs, you can only participate in one program, not both.
NOTE: Before 2015, an eligible professional may switch between the programs one time after the first incentive payment is initiated.
Are EHR Incentives Calculated by Physician or Office?
The incentives in the ambulatory space are paid on a per Eligible Provider basis. If you are part of a practice, each Eligible Provider may qualify for an incentive payment provided the Eligible Provider successfully demonstrates “Meaningful Use” of a certified EHR.
Does a Provider need to use an EHR for all of 2011 in order to qualify for 2011 Incentives? How Long and When does a Provider have to Prove EHR Meaningful Use to Earn the Incentives?
No. The EHR Reporting Period for purposes of the Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for the first year of demonstration will mean any continuous 90-day period within the payment year in which the Eligible Provider successfully demonstrates Meaningful Use of certified EHR technology. The payment year is the calendar year for an Eligible Provider.
The EHR reporting period therefore could be any continuous period beginning and ending within the relevant payment year. For example,
- For Payment year 2011, an EHR reporting period of March 13, 2011 to June 11, 2011 would be just as valid as an EHR reporting period of January 1, 2011 to April 1, 2011.
- An example of an unallowable EHR reporting period would be for an EP to begin on November 1, 2011 and finish on January 31, 2012 because it crosses into the next payment year.
This 90-day period allowed in the first year would allow an EP until October 1, 2011 to begin meaningful use of their certified EHR technology and receive an incentive for payment year 2011.
To the best of our knowledge, this information is accurate as of this writing. As more information becomes available from HHS and other agencies, this page will be updated. Please check the HHS site regularly.