Sunday, November 29, 2009

State Receives Funds

CMS announced that the Medicaid program in Iowa is the first state to receive federal matching funds to develop a plan on how Medicaid incentive payments would be used to help implement the EHR incentive program in the state. The incentive program established by the Recovery Act will provide the state with $1.6 million.

The federal matching funds awarded to Iowa will be used to determine the current status of HIT activities in the state, to gather information on existing barriers in using EHRs, and to study the state’s provider’s eligibility for EHR incentive payments. The state is also going to assess the incentive payments needed to get Medicaid recipients started using PHRs.

CMS requires all the states to receive prior approval for any initial planning activities if they want to be eligible for the 90 percent FFP match. The states are also required to develop a State Medicaid HIT Plan that defines the state’s vision for long term HIT use. The state plan requires the states to describe not only how their incentive program will be used to integrate current and planned Medicaid HIT assets, but also how their plan fits into the larger State HIT/HIE Roadmap.

“While Iowa is the first state to receive approval of its plan for implementing the Recovery Act’s EHR Medicaid incentive program, a number of other states have submitted plans as well”, said Cindy Mann, Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at CMS.