|Meaningful Use: What You Should Know|
|2011: What You Should Do This Year|
Whether you go with the Medicare or Medicaid program, securing an incentive payment in 2011 is a two-step process: first, you must register; then, you must report attestation.
Praxites can tackle step one right away. You are not required to have certified EMR technology to register. If you wish to register now, just skip the section on EMR technology; you can go back and complete this section once Praxis v5 attains certification.
Also, note that registering now does not commit you to a reporting period right away. In fact, under the Medicare program, you can wait as long as February 29, 2012 to report attestation. To secure the maximum Medicare payment of $18,000 in 2011, you must simply demonstrate meaningful use for a continuous 90-day period (the latest you can start, therefore, is Oct. 3) and submit Medicare charges of at least $24,000 during that time.
For the Medicaid program, things are even easier. Besides meeting the program's volume threshold of 30 percent Medicaid patients, all you need to do is simply prove that you implemented certified EHR technology in 2011. Upgrading to Praxis v5 will fulfill that requirement and earn you the $21,250 payment for this year.
To sum it all up, we've prepared the following table on what you need to know for both programs for 2011:
We recommend you get started. Registration for both incentive programs is now open. To register for either, visit: https://ehrincentives.cms.gov/hitech/login.action.
You can participate in one program or the other, but not in both. You may switch once between programs after a payment has been made, but only before 2015.
Expect to receive your incentive payment four to six weeks after successfully reporting attestation.
|Medicare: How to Get $44,000 Over Five Years|
The federally-run Medicare EHR Incentive Program begins this year and ends in 2016. However, to secure the maximum payment of $44,000 over a five year period, you must start participating by 2012.
To be eligible for this program, you must be a:
The program awards incentive payments to physicians who demonstrate meaningful use of a certified EMR. The amount of the incentive for any one year is equal to 75 percent of the participant's Medicare physician fee schedule allowed charges, based on claims for services performed. The payment is capped at $18,000 the first year, and lesser amounts in subsequent years.
The table below summarizes the payment schedule and describes what you need to do to secure your incentive payment each year.
|Medicaid: How to Get $63,750 Over Six Years|
The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program offers Medicaid-eligible professionals the opportunity to secure up to $63,750 in incentive payments over a six-year period. The program is administered individually by each state and territory. Therefore, the start dates, documentation requirements, and payment details vary from one state to the next.
A number of states have either begun or plan to begin the program in 2011. The following states opened registration on Jan. 3, 2011:
In addition, California, Missouri, and North Dakota plan to open registration in February 2011. Other states will likely launch their programs during the spring and summer of 2011.
To see the estimated start-date for the program in each state, visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/medicaid-HIT-sites/.
Participants in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program should consult their state for specific information regarding attestation and payment.
|Let's Keep the Dialogue Going: The Praxis Discussion Forum|
Do you still have questions about the EHR Incentive Programs? If you do, you are in all likelihood not alone. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are complex and are continually being clarified. Let's keep the dialogue going. If you have a question, post it in the Praxis discussion forum and we'll do our best to find you an answer as quickly as possible.
Additionally, CMS has a lot of information on their website at: https://www.cms.gov/ehrincentiveprograms/
They have also established an excellent EHR Information Center that can be reached Monday through Friday, between 7:30am to 6:30pm Central Time at: 1-888-734-6433.