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.