You need to be aware of the CMS Medicare rules and regulations to qualify for the HITECH Act EHR Incentive Program. If you’re a hospital that didn’t have your EMR software installed by end of June, you can forget about the CMS Medicare incentive money for 2012.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know
- The HITECH Act is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which is also known as the Stimulus Bill.
- The Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) are overseeing the EHR Incentive Program.
- Qualifying for the incentive payment requires implementation of electronic medical record systems and demonstrating meaningful use of the electronic health record (EHR) / electronic medical records (EMR) software.
How do you demonstrate meaningful use for Medicaid Incentive Payments?
Medicaid is much simpler than Medicare. The first year, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) only have to adopt, implement or upgrade in order to demonstrate meaningful use and thus qualify for incentive payments.
If 2012 is your second year, you will need to determine the specific meaningful use rules for your state.
For a list of all state Medicaid websites, visit https://www.cms.gov/apps/files/medicaid-HIT-sites/
What about meaningful use for CMS Medicare EHR Incentive program?
To comply with meaningful use CMS criteria for Medicare, you have to follow the rules and meet the dates.
Some CMS Medicare Dates
- October 1, 2011 – Reporting year begins for eligible hospitals and CAHs.
- January 1, 2012 – Reporting year begins for eligible professionals.
- May 2012 – EHR Incentive Payments begin.
- July 3, 2012– Last day for eligible hospitals to begin their 90-day reporting period to demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
What are the CMS Medicare Dates you still have a shot at?
- September 30, 2012 – Last day of the federal fiscal year. Reporting year ends for eligible hospitals and CAHs.
- October 3, 2012 – Last day for eligible professionals to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year 2012 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
- November 30, 2012 – Last day for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to register and attest to receive an Incentive Payment for FY 2012 under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
- December 31, 2012 – Reporting year ends for eligible professionals.
- February 28, 2013 – Last day for eligible professionals to register and attest to receive an Incentive Payment for calendar year (CY) 2012.
Eligible Physicians still have a shot at qualifying for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program . But you need to act NOW. You have less than 3 months to select, purchase, implement and train on your new electronic medical records / EMR software.
You need to be ready start qualifying for Medicare by October 3, 2012!!
2012 is the last year to qualify for the maximum incentive payments for CMS Medicare. Payments are made over multiple years. Not acting now will cause you to forfeit your 2012 CMS Medicare money FOREVER.
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