Starting in 2011, significant incentives are available for physicians who "meaningfully use" an electronic health record (EHR). You must register to participate. To enroll, visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) registration and attestation web page.
Have your tax identification and National Provider Identifier numbers handy when registering and be prepared to select one of the two available programs, Medicare or Medicaid. The Medicare incentives are up to $44,000 over five years. Medicaid incentives are up to $63,750 over six years but require a threshold of 30 percent Medicaid encounters (20 percent for pediatricians).
"With the start of registration, these landmark programs get under way, and patients, providers, and the nation can begin to enjoy the benefits of widespread adoption of electronic health records," said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD.
For physicians planning to participate in the Medicaid EHR incentive program, in addition to the CMS registration, there also are Texas Medicaid enrollment requirements. Texas Medicaid will host a webinar demonstration of the enrollment process. The webinar will be on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 1 pm and 6:30 pm. For details and to register, click here.
Regional extension centers (RECs) provide federally subsidized consulting to help physicians select and implement an EHR system and to meet federal "meaningful use" requirements for EHR incentive eligibility. Primary care physicians and specialists who can attest to providing primary care services are eligible for the consulting services, which cost $300 per year (valued at $5,000). For more information, visit TMA's Texas Regional Extension Center Resource Center.
For answers to questions on these programs or other health information technology (HIT) issues, contact TMA's HIT experts by calling (800) 880-5720 or by e-mailing HIT@texmed.org.
Action, Jan. 4, 2010