When's the earliest we can get the ARRA HITECH EMR Stimulus Money?
Medicare Related EMR Stimulus Money
The earliest payments for those wanting the $44k per eligible provider from Medicare will be Spring of 2011. Healthcare providers will need to show "meaningful use" of a "certified EHR" for 90 consecutive days in 2011 in order to qualify for the first year payment of $18k. The year 2011 will be the easiest year to achieve the Emr stimulus money, because the requirements are so low and because CMS will not be ready to measure compliance. Eligible providers will attest to meeting the requirements through a secure CMS Web site. The very first checks will be sent out beginning in May of 2011. If your practice has not already installed an EHR by January 2011, you will not be able to meet the use requirements for 90 consecutive days. DrFirst Rcopia-MU* can be up and running in your practice in just a few weeks, not months! Learn more on one of our weekly demos!
Providers can earn UP TO $18,000 in 2011 (assuming of course they can show "meaningful use" on a "certified EHR"). The Emr stimulus payments will be paid based on 75% of the submitted allowable charges. For example, a provider who has allowable Medicare charges totaling $24k or more will be eligible to receive the full $18k bonus. A doctor with $13.3k in allowable Medicare charges would only be eligible for $10K in bonus money. Practices that don't adopt CCHIT-certified EMR systems by 2014 will have their Medicare reimbursement rates cut by up to 3 percent beginning in 2015.
Medicare Related Incentives
Besides Medicare, there is also EMR stimulus money available through Medicaid. In fact, Medicaid has more money per provider available than Medicare, but also has different requirements to obtain the EMR stimulus money. Each state will be able to decide when and how they are going to pay out the $63,750 in EMR stimulus money for Medicaid providers.
CMS Establishes State Requirements for Receiving Full Stimulus Funding
According to CMS, states must satisfy at least three basic requirements to receive the EMR stimulus funding:
- Administer Medicaid bonuses to eligible physicians and hospitals
- Routinely track meaningful use reports and conduct other oversight activities
- Pursue initiatives that encourage EMR adoption to promote health care quality
CMS Establishes State Requirements for Receiving Partial Stimulus Funding
CMS says states will receive 90% funding for:
- Development of a master patient index
- Costs associated with health information exchanges
- Creation or enhancement of a health data warehouse or repository
- Physician outreach activities, including workshops, webinars and meetings
- A physician help line, dedicated e-mail address and/or a call center
CMS Stimulus Auditing Program to be Established in Future
CMS also expects states to implement EMR stimulus auditing programs to help prevent them from making improper Medicaid bonus payments and to monitor the program for potential fraud, waste and abuse. For 2011, the first year of the EMR stimulus incentive program, the agency expects states to focus audits on physician and hospital eligibility and measures of patient volume.
Enhanced Matching Payments Available for States With Advanced Auditing
In addition, states may receive enhanced federal matching funds for auditing activities focused on enrollment, license verification, sanctions, data analysis, and privacy and security.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that these EMR stimulus incentives will push up to 90 percent of U.S. physicians to use EMRs over the next 10 years.
*DrFirst's Rcopia-MU is the combination of a DrFirst Rcopia ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified Modular EHR, certification number CC-1112-401680-2, which meets the following certification criteria: 170.302(a-e, j, o-v) and 170.304(a-b), and the WellCentive Patient Registry 2.0, certification number CC-1112-946650-3, which meets the following certification criteria: 170.302(c-i, k-v) and 170.304(c-j). The additional software relied upon for testing included OpenATNA, First DataBank Drug Database, and Surescripts. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.
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