Over 100,000 health care providers are using ONC-certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and have collected reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid to date. The Meaningful Use program pays up to $44,000 under Medicare and $64,000 under Medicaid to providers who implement certified EHR systems. Providers have to meet performance criteria known as “Meaningful Use” before CMS will pay them.
Congress sought to incentivize providers to move from paper records to EHR systems when they enacted Meaningful Use, technically known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, itself part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), passed in 2009. Paper charts are inefficient, difficult to read, cumbersome to process, and increase the cost of healthcare.
Many providers have already taken advantage of meaningful use. However, time is running out to take full advantage of the funding. The money is broken up over five years; CMS pays most of it during the first two years. Providers need to start this year to get the maximum amount.
Time is running out. 2012 is already half over. If you haven’t purchased an EHR yet, you only have a short time to make your decision. October 1st is the last day you can begin your 90-day attestation period for year one of the Medicare program. Under normal circumstances, it will take your practice a month or two to implement and come up to speed on a new system. If you are still shopping for EHR, and you want to take full advantage of the incentive money, you should make a purchase decision within the next few weeks.
Year one for the Medicaid program does not require a 90-day attestation period. If your practice sees more than 30% Medicaid patients by volume, you will qualify for the $64,000. All you have to do is adopt, implement, or upgrade to a certified system to collect the $20,000 offered during year one.
Please contact us if you would like more information about how you can qualify for the Meaningful Use program. Our consultants will conduct a free needs assessment with you to determine which EHR system will best meet your needs. You can reach us at email@example.com.