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Registration is Open for Medicare, Medicaid Incentive Programs for Health IT
CMS Expects to Start Issuing Payments in May
By News Staff
CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, or ONC, opened registration for the Medicare EHR incentive program on Jan. 3. The Medicaid EHR incentive program also is being rolled out Jan. 3 in 11 states: Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Other states are likely to launch their Medicaid EHR incentive programs during the spring and summer of 2011, according to CMS.
ONC Releases Final Rule for Health IT Program
Physicians and other health care professionals participating in the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health records incentive programs must meet "meaningful use" standards to receive payments.
The ONC created a temporary certification program in June. That program will remain in effect through the end of this year or until a permanent program is organized. Companies must be accredited by the ONC to certify health IT products, and certification bodies will have to conduct postcertification surveillance.
Eligible professionals participating in Medicare can receive as much as $44,000 during a five-year period and as much as $63,750 if they participate in Medicaid during the next six years. CMS expects to start issuing Medicare EHR incentive payments in May 2011.
Physicians and other health care professionals who meet the eligibility requirements for both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs must select which program they wish to participate in when they register. They cannot participate in both, but after receiving payment, they can change their program selection once before 2015, according to CMS.
CMS urges physicians and other professionals who are interested in participating in the incentive programs to visit CMS' website for the EHR incentive programs. The website provides general and detailed information on the programs, including tabs on the path to payment, eligibility, meaningful use, certified EHR technology and frequently asked questions.
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More From AAFP
Center for Health IT: "Meaningful Use"
CMS Fact Sheets on "Meaningful Use": Definitions and Standard Rules