Meaningful Use FAQs

What incentives am I eligible to receive if I qualify as a Meaningful User of EHR?
In addition to grant programs, physician incentives are allocated in two different payment forms of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Physicians can start earning incentives in 2011 by demonstrating Meaningful Use of EHR.

Medicare Incentives
Physicians can start earning incentives from $2,000 to $18,000 per year in 2011 by demonstrating Meaningful Use of EHR. The possible incentives will be offered up to a maximum of $44,000 per physician, depending on when providers implement EHR. In order to receive the full amount, physicians must implement EHR by 2012, as no payment will be made available after 2015. (Please refer to Table 1.)

Table 1

 

Year that EHR use is first demonstrated

Yearly Provider Incentives ($ thousand)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Total

2011

18

12

8

4

2

0

44

2012

0

18

12

8

4

2

44

2013

0

0

15

12

8

4

39

2014

0

0

0

12

8

4

24

Source: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009

Medicaid Incentives
Under the ARRA, providers will earn from $21,250 to $25,000 for the first year, which may not be after 2016, of payments. Medicaid incentives range up to $65,000 over a five-year period. After obtaining startup funds, providers who prove Meaningful Use can be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in annual payments for an additional four years. (Please refer to Table 2.)

Table 2

Year that EHR use is first demonstrated

Annual Provider Incentives ($ thousand)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Total

2011

25

10

10

10

10

0

0

0

65

2012

0

25

10

10

10

10

0

0

65

2013

0

0

25

10

10

10

10

0

65

2014

0

0

0

25

10

10

10

10

65

2015

0

0

0

0

25

10

10

10

55

2016

0

0

0

0

0

25

10

10

45

Source: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009

What are the eligibility criteria to receive incentive payments for EHR?
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be creating a clear definition of Meaningful Use in the year ahead, but for now, Meaningful Use emphasizes using technology to exchange electronic health data to improve care quality and emphasizes submitting care quality measures to HHS. In addition, hospitals and doctors will need to meet these requirements within a specified time frame.
Eligibility for Medicaid Incentives

  • Physicians, nurses, and midwife nurses who are not hospital-based and whose patient volume is at least 30 percent attributable to Medicaid are eligible for a maximum of 85 percent of their net allowable technology costs, subject to specific annual limits.
  • Medicaid incentives will be available only to non–hospital-based clinicians, encompassing dentists, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants practicing in Rural Health Clinics.
  • Medicaid incentives range up to $65,000 over a five-year period.
  • Acute care hospitals with Medicaid patient volume of 10 percent or more, and children’s hospitals with any Medicaid volumes, are also eligible.
  • Medicaid has not mentioned any penalties for a lack of adoption of EHR.

After obtaining start-up funds, providers who prove Meaningful Use can be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in annual payments for an additional four years.

How should I start implementing an EHR system?

Prepare a plan to implement a certified EHR system immediately.
Research information about the Stimulus Package for HIT to have the best understanding of it as possible.
Assess the current status of your practice and your unique requirements.
Identify the benefits and advantages of the stimulus bill for your providers and physicians.

What if I don’t adopt EHR?
Those providers who do not adopt EHR by 2015 will see reductions in their Medicare reimbursements of 1 percent in 2015, 2 percent in 2016, and 3 percent in 2017.

No EHR adopted by the year

Providers will see reductions in their Medicare reimbursements  (%)

2015

1

2016

2

2017

3

 

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