Sunday, January 20, 2008

CMS Initiating EHR Demonstration

CMS has a new demonstration project to reward the delivery of care to physician practices supporting electronic health records. Applications for the demonstration will be accepted from primary care physicians practicing in small to medium sized practices with up to 20 physicians. However, preference will be given to smaller practices with ten or fewer doctors.

All participating physician practices will be required to have a CCHIT certified EHR by the end of the second year. Physician practices must be using electronic health records for clinical documentation, ordering lab tests, recording lab tests, and ordering prescriptions. However, the core incentive payments will be based on performance concerned with quality measures. A bonus will be paid based on the degree of health IT used to manage care.

The demonstration project will be operational for five years and in years 3 to 5, demonstration payments will include bonuses each year based on how the practice has used electronic health records to change and has improved the operation of the practice. The demonstration project will be fully operational in 12 locations with two sites to be identified in early spring 2008 and the remainder sites by 2009.