4 Resources to Help You Get Your Head around EHR Incentives

Your practice worked hard to implement an EHR system. The practice physicians and staff use it daily, and your office is meeting Meaningful Use requirements such as tracking medications, communicating with patients through secure electronic messaging, plus identifying and reporting specific health conditions to a registry. There are ways to take advantage of all the time and money put into transitioning; EHR Incentives.

Here are 4 resources to help you research the EHR incentives available to your practice. Please note that your practice needs to have met meaningful use and used a certified EHR prior to 2015 to be eligible for incentives this year.

1) CMS.gov

The first place you should head to is the CMS. Not only does the website discuss the steps you need to take to get EHR incentives (such as checking your eligibility, ensuring your EHR is certified, and attesting to meet meaningful use), but it also has a number of useful video resources such as this handy video which introduces the concept of EHR incentives. Additionally, CMS offers a useful flow chart that breaks down eligibility into a “start here and answer the following questions” flow. The flow chart reminds providers that they can participate in only one program: Medicaid or Medicare, and to consider choosing Medicaid’s program if they qualify because it can maximize the payments given to the provider.

2) HealthIT.gov

Another great resource comes in the form of another government website. HealthIT provides some information not readily available on CMS, such as how much a practice or hospital can qualify for through the incentive program ($44,000 and $63,750, respectively, if your practice met and proved meaningful use in 2011). Additionally, the site points out that the incentives programs end after 2016, meaning if you have recently transitioned to EHR, it is time to jump on board, meet meaningful use, and take advantage of some great government-offered incentives.

3) Your State’s Medicaid Portal

CMS provides information about the Medicaid incentives, but your state likely has an even better, more specific page or set of pages dedicated to EHR incentives. For instance, New York State Medicaid gives medical providers an opportunity to pre-validate prior to attesting meaningful use practices, which can reduce the time your incentives application takes to be reviewed by the state. Further, the New York State Medicaid website offers tools and checklists to help your practice determine eligibility prior to application.

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4) National Indian Health Board

If you are looking for a general overview, including charts and FAQs, head over to the National Indian Health Board and check out their EHR Incentives Overview document. The document breaks down eligibility, the difference between Medicare and Medicaid’s incentives programs, and the maximum payments possible for each program.

Remember, if your EHR was up and running prior to 2015, you may qualify for EHR incentives. Now is as good a time as any to take advantage of the government money available to your practice. You spent a lot of time and money on your EHR, go ahead and get something back for your efforts.

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Samantha Williams

About the author…

Samantha Williams’ EHR expertise stems from three years of medical billing for a large physician practice in New York City. She trains new hires to use a medical billing and EHR system and writes appeals for denied neurosurgical procedures, resulting in additional insurance payment.

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Samantha Williams

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