Act Now! Don’t Miss These Deadlines

 

Several health information technology (HIT) deadlines that impact physicians are pending.  

The first and most imminent is the e-prescribing deadline of June 30 to prevent a 1.5-percent penalty on all Medicare allowable charges in 2013. This applies even to physicians participating in the federal electronic health record (EHR) incentive program. It is not enough to simply e-prescribe for 10 Medicare patients; you must add G8553 to the claims accompanying those patient encounters. Details about e-prescribing software and how to comply with the program are available here. 

Physicians planning to participate in the federal EHR incentive program need to act quickly to maximize the Medicare incentives of $44,000 over five years. Physicians who join in the meaningful use program this year are eligible for the maximum amount.  

Medicare Incentives  

 

 

2011 

2012 

2013 

2014 

2015 

2016 

Total  

Year of Eligibility 

2011 

$18,000 

$12,000 

$8,000 

$4,000 

$2,000 

- 

$44,000 

2012 

 

$18,000 

$12,000 

$8,000 

$4,000 

$2,000 

$44,000 

2013 

 

 

$15,000 

$12,000 

$8,000 

$4,000 

$39,000 

2014 

 

 

 

$12,000 

$8,000 

$4,000 

$24,000 

2015+ 

 

 

 

 

- 

- 

- 

Year one requires 90 days of meaningful use of the EHR, which means physicians need to select, implement, and begin effectively using the EHR by Oct. 1, 2012, to maximize the incentives. It takes time to select an EHR system. Once you make a selection, you go into the vendor's queue for implementation, which may take time, depending on the vendor and its current volume. The staff then needs to begin using the EHR so it achieves 90 days of meaningful use. Practices that are still paper-based but plan to transition to an EHR this year need to act quickly.   

Physicians now in the second year of the six-year Medicaid meaningful use program need to begin their 90-days of meaningful use by Oct. 1, 2012, to ensure continuous payment.   

Details about both Medicare and Medicaid programs are available on the EHR Incentive Program Resource Center on the TMA website.   

If you need help with EHR selection, implementation, or meaningful use attestation, turn to one of the four Texas regional extension centers (RECs). They provide consulting to physicians specific to the federal EHR incentive program and can assist practices at all stages of the program. Learn more about their services and whom to contact by visiting TMA's Texas REC Resource Center. 


Action, June 15, 2012


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