The Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and up to $63,750 through the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

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Recent News/Updates:

CMS Announces Final EHR Meaningful Use Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and ONC released final rules on October 6, 2015 for the EHR Incentive Programs, which they say will ease reporting requirements for providers.

Read more: (Courtesy of Healthcare IT News)

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2015 EHR Incentive Program Requirements:

CMS recently released a final rule that specifies criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. The final rule’s provisions encompass 2015 through 2017 (Modified Stage 2) as well as Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond.

Here’s what you need to know about meeting EHR Incentive Programs requirements in 2015:

Objectives and Measures

  • All providers are required to attest to a single set of objectives and measures. This replaces the core and menu structure of previous stages.
  • For EPs, there are 10 objectives, including one consolidated public health reporting objective. For eligible hospitals and CAHs, there are 9 objectives, including one consolidated public health reporting objective.
  • In 2015, all providers must attest to objectives and measures using EHR technology certified to the 2014 Edition.
  • To assist providers who may have already started working on meaningful use in 2015, there are alternate exclusions and specifications within individual measures for providers who were previously scheduled to be in Stage 1 of meaningful use. These include:
    • Allowing providers who were previously scheduled to be in a Stage 1 EHR reporting period for 2015 to use a lower threshold for certain measures.
    • Allowing providers to exclude Modified Stage 2 measures in 2015 for which there is no Stage 1 equivalent.

EHR Reporting Period

  • Starting in 2015, the EHR reporting period for all providers will be based on the calendar year.
  • In 2015 only, the EHR reporting period for all providers will be any continuous 90-day period.
  • EPs may select an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90 day period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.
  • Eligible hospitals and CAHs may select an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90 day period from October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015.

 

Use the eHealth Interactive Timeline Tool to view the milestones for various eHealth programs, including the EHR Incentive Programs. The timeline is also available in PDF format.

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Resources:

Requirements for EHR Incentive Programs in 2015 –  Resources

EHR for Eligible Professionals: What You Need to Know for 2015 Tipsheet

EHR Incentive Programs in 2015-2017 Overview Fact Sheet

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Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Payments by Calendar Year*

To receive an EHR incentive payment, providers have to show that they are meaningfully using their EHRs by meeting thresholds for a number of objectives. The EHR Incentive Programs are phased in three stages with increasing requirements.

 

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*As required by law, President Obama issued a sequestration order on March 1, 2013. Under these mandatory reductions, Medicare EHR incentive payments made to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals will be reduced by 2%. This 2% reduction has been applied to any Medicare EHR incentive payment for a reporting period that ended on or after April 1, 2013. This reduction does not apply to Medicaid EHR incentive payments.

 

 

 

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