3 Mistakes That Cause Practices to Lose EHR Incentive Payments

EHR incentive payments, whether they are through the Medicare or Medicaid program, allow practices to reimburse some of the time and money they put into implementing new EHR systems. However, if practices do not stay informed and continue to utilize their new systems, they can lose future incentive payments. Here are some costly mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Monitoring Meaningful Use Updates

Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 3 is right around the corner (slated for 2016) and preparing your EHR for the latest MU regulations ahead of time is a great way to ensure your operations continue to run smoothly.

Understanding possible requirements is the first step to being ready for stage 3, if you are not ready, you will lose EHR incentives. Simple as that.

With this in mind, it is a disastrous mistake to not have individuals within the practice monitoring the updates and suggestions that are being thrown around for the next stage of MU. Understanding possible requirements is the first step to being ready for stage 3, if you are not ready, you will lose EHR incentives. Simple as that.

2. Breeding a Culture of “Just-in-Time” Attestation

Practices need to stay on top of MU requirements throughout the year - it is bad practice to only aim to meet these requirements during your reporting period.

Audits should happen regularly. If your practice’s staff begin to slack, your IT department isn’t keeping the EHR system up to date with the latest changes, or your office fails to report to cancer registries and others, you are at risk of losing EHR incentive payments.

Resting On Last Year’s Laurels

Just because your practice attested to meeting Meaningful Use last year does not mean you are locked in for EHR incentive payments every year. Practices must attest to Meaningful Use on an annual basis and as MU requirements develop and fluctuate so frequently, one year’s attestation may mean nothing in 12 months time.

Recommended Reading: EHR Selection Survival Guide - 7 Proven Steps to EHR Selection Success

If your practice has failed to pay attention to meaningful use guidelines and faltered in meeting the guidelines, here is where it will bite you. Participation years do not always need to be consecutive (dependent on your incentive program), but to optimize the amount of money you receive through EHR incentives, ensure you are in a position to attest annually.

Your practice worked hard and put in plenty of money and hours to get your EHR and your practice ready to meet Meaningful Use requirements. Do not squander the EHR incentive payments you may be eligible for.

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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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