- HHS puts a cool $1 billion toward Innovation Awards
- Medicare Strike Force nails 89 fraudsters
- HIX, Medicaid expansion offer Veterans new options
- Brookings framework aims to improve care and bend cost curve
- Montana partnership intends to bolster care transitions
- Bipartisan Policy Center urges payment reform toward patient-centered care
- GOP Senators: Health IT policy needs 'reboot'
- HHS proposes 2014 budget
- States focus on consumer experience in Medicaid modernization
- ACA at 3: Neither success nor survival a foregone conclusion
The last day for healthcare providers and other eligible professionals to begin their consecutive 90-day reporting period is Oct. 3 so they can attest that they demonstrate meaningful use stage 1 and get paid a Medicare EHR incentive for 2012.
To receive the maximum electronic health record (EHR) incentive payment over the life of the program, Medicare providers must begin participation in the program by 2012, and Oct. 3 is the final starting date to accomplish that, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Eligible providers and other professionals who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHRs can receive up to $44,000 over five continuous years under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
If first-year Medicare providers have not started their 90-day reporting period by Oct. 3, they will not be eligible for a 2012 payment. They will only receive $39,000 in Medicare incentives if they successfully participate in 2013, CMS said.
To qualify for Medicare EHR incentive payments, Medicare eligible professionals must successfully demonstrate meaningful use for each year of participation in the program. Incentive payments are made based on the calendar year.
[See also: ONC kicks off Blue Button video contest.]
The reporting period for the first year is any 90 continuous days during the calendar year. The reporting period for all subsequent years is the entire calendar year.
Depending on the first year they participate, providers can participate for up to five continuous years throughout the duration of the program. The last year to begin participation in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program is 2014. EHR incentive payment under the Medicare program will continue through 2016, CMS said in a reminder notice.
Beginning in 2015, Medicare eligible professionals who do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will receive reduced payments for services. The payment decrease starts at 1 percent and increases each year that a Medicare eligible professional does not demonstrate meaningful use, to a maximum of 5 percent.
CMS also offers tools and checklists for providers to help them prepare for attestation, including a meaningful use guide and calculator.
The agency has updated its frequently asked meaningful use questions system to provide a unique link to the Web page with the requested answer.
In another deadline, Nov. 30 is the last day for eligible hospitals in the Medicare EHR program to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for 2012.