CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have announced that registration for the Medicare incentive program for the meaningful use of electronic health records will begin on Jan. 3, 2011, Modern Healthcare reports.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs will qualify for incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid.
More information on registration for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments is available on CMS' website.
To qualify for the Medicare incentive payments, eligible hospitals and health care providers must use a certified EHR system according to the meaningful use guidelines for 90 consecutive days within the first year of the program, which began on Oct. 1.
In April 2011, federal officials will start accepting attestations from health care providers who have met the meaningful use requirements.
By May 2011, qualifying health care providers could begin receiving the first Medicare incentive payments.
To receive the Medicaid incentive payments, health care providers will need to adopt, implement or upgrade to a certified EHR system during the first year of eligibility.
On Jan. 3, 11 states will be ready to start registering health care providers for the Medicaid incentive payments. They are:
- North Carolina;
- South Carolina;
- Tennessee; and
In February 2011, registration for the Medicaid incentive program is expected to open in:
- Missouri; and
- North Dakota (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 12/23).
Eligible health care providers who would like to apply for the Medicaid incentive payments will need to begin their registration with CMS and complete the process through an eligibility verification site at their state Medicaid agency (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 12/23).
Many of the states that are ready to begin registration in the next few months plan to issue their first incentive payments by late January or early February 2011 (Modern Healthcare, 12/23). Other states might not launch their incentive programs until spring or summer of 2011 (Kraynak, HealthLeaders Media, 12/23).