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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Within The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act specifically targeted healthcare by providing the means to structure a paperless national health information network.

To accomplish this goal, the HITECH Act will provide more than $40 billion to aid in that development through a massive effort to incentivize physician practices and hospital systems to adopt electronic health records (EHRs). Within the provisions of the Act, defined "eligible professional” healthcare providers are eligible for up to $44,000 or $63,750 per provider.

EHR Meaningful Use Criteria

The criteria of meaningful use to qualify for incentive payments was released in July 2010. The final rule definitively outlines the specifics of Stage 1 meaningful use and clinical quality measure reporting to receive maximum incentive payments in 2011 and 2012. 

There are three main components for meaningful use, as specified by ARRA:

  • The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner.
  • The use of a certified EHR technology for the electronic exchange of health information, with the goal of improving quality of care.
  • The use of a certified EHR to submit clinical quality and other measures.

The definition of meaningful use combines criteria across the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services programs and coordinates with existing CMS quality initiatives. Meaningful use is also closely linked to the criteria set forth by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

How to Qualify for EMR Meaningful Use

Qualify for Meaningful Use: Medicare:

The Medicare EMR incentive plan will provide incentive payments to eligible professional, hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAH) demonstrating meaningful use of a certified electronic health record.

  • Participation began in 2011.
  • Eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 over five years under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. There is an additional incentive available for professionals who provide services in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HSPA).
  • To get the maximum incentive payment, Medicare eligible professionals must begin participation by 2012.
  • Starting in 2015, Medicare eligible professionals, hospitals, and CAHs that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will have a payment adjustment to their Medicare reimbursement.

Qualify for Meaningful Use: Medicaid

The Medicaid EHR incentive plan will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, hospitals and CAHs as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology in their first year of participation and demonstrate meaningful use for up to five remaining participation years.

  • The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is voluntarily offered by individual states and territories and may begin as early as 2011, depending on the state.
  • Eligible professionals can receive a maximum of $63,750 over the six years they choose to participate in the program.
  • Eligible hospital incentives may begin as early as 2011, depending on the state. The last year a Medicaid eligible hospital may commence the program is 2016.
  • Unlike the Medicare incentive plan, there are no payment adjustments under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Additional Information

Meaningful Use

Information taken from CMS website: https://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/30_Meaningful_Use.asp

To learn more about or any of our other products and services that will get you to meaningful use, or to schedule a product demo, please email a Bond Medical product specialist, or call us at 866.331.BOND.

   
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