How to apply for medicaid incentives for your EHR project

So, you have decided that it is time to get on-board with EHR and implement it at your practice. One of the first things you should do is make sure that your practice receives all available Medicaid incentives during the implementation process. The Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program rewards eligible providers with incentive payments for adopting, implementing and using certified EHR technology in their practice.

Do you qualify?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act established incentive payments for adoption of EHR by eligible professionals, hospitals and organizations. For the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, the eligible provider must be one of the following professionals: physicians, dentists, certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Eligible professionals must be practicing in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Center (RHC).

Recommended reading: EHR selection survival guide - 7 proven steps to selection success

Some hospital based professionals may qualify if they work in a FQHC or RHC, children’s hospitals, or see at least 10% Medicaid patient volume in acute care. In addition, some professionals may qualify if they are seeing at least 30% of their caseload from Medicaid individuals. One exception is that a pediatrician may qualify if they see at least 20% Medicaid patient volume, but would be incentivized at a reduced rate. You can check your eligibility through the CMS website.

Participating providers must utilize certified EHR systems that meet meaningful use criteria; adoption of EHR, data gathering, utilization of EHR for information exchange and coordination of care, as well as utilization to improve healthcare outcomes. Providers who meet all criteria having implemented EHR can earn up to $63,750 over the course of six years. In the first year, incentive payments can reach $21,250 and in subsequent years incentives are limited to $8,500.

Registration

In order to apply, first you must select and adopt a certified EHR system. Next, you must register at the CMS Registration Portal.

Through this portal, you will register to enroll in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. You will need to have your business information, tax identifier, national provider identifier (NPI), and personal information as a provider. You will complete an EHR incentive questionnaire and upon completing all required sections, you will submit your request for enrollment. The enrollment request will be sent to your state’s Medicaid offices for approval. Because you will have created a username and password, you may log-in to view the status of your enrollment online. Once enrolled, you will be required to attest for meaningful use of the EHR system.

For further information, see this useful guide from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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Amy Vant

About the author…

Amy Vant is a doctor of physical therapy and clinical director for an outpatient physical therapy clinic in the United States. She has experience utilizing and implementing many forms of medical documentation through various healthcare practice venues. Amy enjoys writing about healthcare administration strategies, including electronic health record systems.

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Amy Vant