Registration Began for Medicare EHR Incentive Program
Shortly after the new year, eligible physicians and hospitals began registering for the Medicare electronic health records (EHR) incentive program, a prerequisite for obtaining billions of dollars in available federal bonuses.
Implementation of this program will streamline health information services and provide more efficient patient care delivery. Here is some information that will help you understand the registration process for the Medicare EHR incentive program, which began on January 3rd.
Not all areas of the country will be implementing registration at the same time, so it is important to have an EHR representative to guide your facility through the process. Registration for the EHR incentive program will launch in January for Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
In February, registration will open in California, Missouri and North Dakota. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the remaining states will launch their EHR incentive program sign-ups in the spring and summer.
Officials with the CMS and the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said they hope for broad registration by doctors and hospitals. The CMS website has numerous resources to provide physicians and hospitals with the latest information regarding the program.
Any clinician or hospital staff member who will be using EHR technology is encouraged to visit the website for the latest news and updates that will impact implementation of the program at the local level.
Registration and Other Deadlines
Physicians who want to participate must register in either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive programs, but they must choose only one program â¬" they cannot receive payments from both. However, after receiving a bonus for a given year, a physician may change a program selection once before 2015.
To register, consult your EHR representative, who will guide you through the registration process. The CMS website requires a 15-digit number for the certified EHR. If you have a 13-digit number (with two special characters), simply put two zeros (00) before the 13-digit number and omit the dashes.
In 2010, standards were set that doctors and hospitals must meet to demonstrate meaningful use of their EHR systems. Physicians can receive as much as $44,000 over a five-year period through Medicare and up to $63,750 over six years through Medicaid.
Recently, the first incentive payments were disbursed. The Gastorf Family Clinic of Durant, Oklahoma, a client of eMDs, was the nation's first physician recipient of the electronic health records incentive payment program administered through Medicare.
To get the maximum incentive payment, Medicare eligible professionals must begin participation by 2012. There are a number of key deadlines in 2011 that must be met in the implementation of the EMR program. For more information regarding those deadlines, consult your EHR representative.
e-MDs offers a host of affordable, certified EHR solutions for physicians and facilities looking to modernize or enhance their services with the latest electronic health records technology.
e-MDs is committed to providing affordable and integrated EHR and Practice Management Software solutions, including clinical, financial and document management modules designed to automate medical practice processes and chart management - delivering the clinical tools needed to succeed in today's health care environment.
You can find additional detailed information about all the different services and benefits an EHR system has to offer your practice by contacting a representative right now at 1.888.344.9836 or [email protected], or visiting them online at www.e-mds.com.