EHR Incentive Payments Begin

Right on schedule, the first Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments were issued the week of May 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced. No mention was made as to how much money was paid or to whom.

Registration for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program opened in January; and since then 40,379 eligible professionals (EPs) have registered, according to CMS.

Ingenix says, however, “of the estimated 95,000 physicians now using an EHR system, a mere 150 stepped forward [April 18] to say they had achieved phase 1 meaningful use measures.”

April 18 was opening day for EPs and eligible hospitals to attest to having met Medicare EHR Incentive Program requirements.

Registered EPs who successfully attest to having met meaningful use of a certified EHR and all other program requirements qualify for incentive payments up to 75 percent of their total Medicare allowed charges. The maximum allowed charges used for 2011 incentive payments is $24,000, which means the maximum payment an EP can earn under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2011 is $18,000.

To qualify for 2011 Medicare EHR incentive payments, EPs must successfully attest to having met stage 1 meaningful use requirements and reach the $24,000 threshold by Feb. 29, 2012.

CMS has recently developed attestation worksheets to help EPs and eligible hospitals successfully attest to meeting meaningful use through the CMS web-based attestation system.

Medicaid EPs Fairing Better

According to CMS, over $83 million has been paid in Medicaid EHR incentives since the program began in January. Of that amount, 2,014 actively registered EPs have earned just over $17 million in Medicaid incentive payments to date.


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4 Responses to “EHR Incentive Payments Begin”

  1. Elias says:

    How can I get into EHR. I have a degree in computer networking and a diploma in Medical Billing and Insurance. How ever I have not been able to find work as a coder, lack of exp seems to be working against me and my school is of no help. I did some EMR last year for a temp. I really enjoyed combining the two fields. So How would I begin to venture out into this, Do I have to go back to school AGAIN. Please advise me.

  2. Tasha says:

    Elias you can try looking on the websites of EMR companies like eClinicalWorks, Medisoft, OmniMD, Acrendo, AllScripts, Ingenix etc. and see if there are any openings. These companies may be based out of another state but they usually always need a local contractor to sell their products and to assist medical offices with the system implementation. I am a certified coder working for an insurance company, just keep looking and network so you can get to your career goal. Hope this helps!

  3. Maryann Schade says:

    Can you please tell me if Child Health Plus is apart of the EHR Incentive Program. I called Medicaid and they said it was only Medicaid and Medicare not Child Health Plus. The providers I work for said effective 2011 Child Health Plus is now included, is this true.

  4. brad says:

    I would check with the Medicare Administrative Contractor for New York state. I can’t find anything that would indicate Child Health Plus, which is referred to as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in most states, is included in either Medicare or Meaningful Use. But it is a keystone of the Affordable Care Act. Check also on the AAPC Discussion Forums.

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