The official website for the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs just launched houses the most up-to-date information on EHR incentive programs. The HITECH Act established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. The incentive payments beginning in 2011 will be made to eligible professionals and hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology.
This is a new program and it is separate from other active CMS incentive programs such as Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative, Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update, and e-Prescribing.
CMS recently published the proposed rule on the EHR incentive programs and accepted public comments for 60 days ending March 15th. More than 2,000 comments were received and CMS is developing and plans to release the final rule in summer 2010.
In addition, CMS is also working with the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT to develop standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology. Patient privacy and security is also an important consideration in implementing the EHR incentive programs. Currently, CMS is working with the Office for Civil rights and ONC to address privacy and security protections under the HITECH Act.
For more details, go to www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms to learn about who is eligible for the program, how to register, meaningful use, upcoming EHR training, other events, and much more.