Medicare Distributes $75M in Meaningful Use Incentive Payments

TOPIC ALERT:

On Thursday, CMS announced that more than 300 health care providers have received a total of $75 million in Medicare incentive payments for demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health records, HealthLeaders Media reports (Tocknell, HealthLeaders Media, 5/27).

Background

On April 18, CMS launched the attestation period for the Medicare portion of the meaningful use program. Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (iHealthBeat, 5/19).

Medicaid already has begun issuing EHR incentive payments through state-based programs (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 5/27).

Payment Details

The first round of Medicare payments was given to eligible health care providers who signed up within the first two weeks that payments were available and who successfully attested to meeting Stage 1 requirements. Health care providers who received payments also complied with the program requirements for the 90-day reporting period (HealthLeaders Media, 5/27).

According to AHA News, the initial round of incentive payments shows that the program is off to a relatively slow start.

CMS estimates more than 42,600 eligible physicians and hospitals have registered for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs, and roughly 485,000 could be eligible to participate, according to AHA News (AHA News, 5/26).

A list of health care providers who received Medicare meaningful use payments is available on a CMS website (Modern Healthcare, 5/27). The amounts of the specific payments were not revealed.

Medicare incentive payments will be made continuously on a monthly basis (HealthLeaders Media, 5/27).


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