As a healthcare professional, you probably feel like you are always under the gun to meet a new regulatory deadline. And, unfortunately, another one is just around the corner: beginning January 1, 2015, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) will start imposing payment adjustments to any Medicare eligible provider who has not met federally mandated Meaningful Use requirements.
At AdvancedMD we are committed to preserving the financial health of today’s private practices. In order to help your practice capture every dollar, we have answered some of the most common questions about the impending 2015 CMS payment adjustments.
What are the 2015 payment adjustments?
The payment adjustments were approved as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as a way to improve healthcare and decrease cost with the use of Electronic Health Record (EHR). Providers who have not demonstrated Meaningful Use through either the CMS Medicare EHR Incentive Programs Attestation System or through their state’s attestation system will receive fewer Medicare reimbursement dollars in 2015—with compounding adjustments each year that follows.
A 1% payment adjustment will be applied to the Medicare Physician fee schedule (PFS) beginning in 2015; a 1% cumulative adjustment will be added for every year meaningful use (MU) requirements are not met. This means a 2% fee adjustment in 2016, a 3% adjustment in 2017, and so on. The maximum fee adjustment will reach as high as 5% depending on the number of eligible providers who have not become meaningful users.
How do I avoid payment adjustment in 2015 and beyond?
In order to avoid these payment adjustments, eligible Medicare providers must demonstrate meaningful use prior to the January 2015 deadline. Once a provider has attested to MU, you must remain a meaningful user to prevent Medicare payment penalties.
Please note that Medicaid eligible professionals who do not bill Medicare and only participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program are not subject to the upcoming payment adjustments. But, if you are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid programs but only register for the Medicaid incentive program, you still must meet MU requirements to avoid adjustments.
Are there hardship exceptions?
There are several hardship exceptions to the payment adjustments including EHR vendor issues, infrastructure problems, natural disasters, and others. Any eligible provider seeking a hardship exception must file a request with the CMS EHR Incentive Programs.
Where do I get more information?
If you are considering implementing EHR technology in your private practice, or are seeking a new EHR vendor, the time is now. The experts at AdvancedMD can help you navigate the upcoming CMS regulations and deadlines and meet Meaningful Use requirements. Contact us today to see how we can help you grow revenue and avoid CMS payment adjustments.