Instructions for Medicare Meaningful Use Program

Use the online eligibility tool from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to verify program eligibility. Once you determine you are eligible, follow the instructions below.

Click here to learn more about the penalties for non-participation and hardship exemptions. 


What can I do now?

Step 1:  Select and adopt a certified EHR
Step 2:  Meet the meaningful use criteria 
Step 3:  Register for the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS)
Step 4:  Register at the CMS Registration and Attestation Portal     

What can I do later?

Step 5:  Obtain EHR certification code 
Step 6:  Complete reporting and attestation 
Step 7:  Receive incentive payment


Step 1: Select and adopt a certified EHR

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program requires the use of a certified EHR. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) maintains the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL), a current list of all certified EHR products.  Even if your current product has met previous certifications, be sure your current version is listed.

Find out how to select and implement an EHR with the help of TMA resources.

If you need help finding or selecting an EHR system, you may benefit from technical consulting services from the Texas Regional Extension Centers (RECs). The RECs are vendor neutral and can help you find a system that fits the needs and budget of your practice.    

Step 2: Meet the meaningful use criteria

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program requires each physician to meet meaningful use criteria for 90 continuous days in 2015. You should have begun reporting no later than Oct. 3, 2015 in order to meet the attestation deadline of Feb. 29, 2016 for penalty prevention. You will not be able to attest to meaningful use for an EHR reporting period in 2015 prior to January 4, 2016. Attestation is allowed once the 90-days are completed, but must be completed by Feb. 28, 2015. 

  • First year participants, who successfully attest to 90 days of meaningful use by February 29, 2016, will avoid the penalty in 2016 and 2017. 
  • Returning participants, who successfully attest to 90 days of meaningful use by February 29, 2016, will avoid the penalty in 2017. 

In 2015 and 2016, participants attest to a single set of objectives and measures with alternate exclusions and specifications for participants previously scheduled to be in Stage 1. 

In 2017, participants may attest to Stage 2 measures for the full year, or Stage 3 measures for 90 days.

Other helpful resources: 

If this is your first or second year of participation, then you are considered "Stage 1".
Meaningful Use Stage 1 Criteria 2015 (at-a-glance) 
EHR Incentive Program: What You Need to Know for 2015 (Tipsheet) – CMS   

If this is your third year of participation or more, then you are considered "Stage 2".
Meaningful Use Stage 2 Criteria (at-a-glance) 
EHR Incentive Program: What You Need to Know for 2015 (Tipsheet) – CMS


For more information on meaningful use, listen to the CMS webinar

Step 3: Register for PECOS

To qualify for Medicare incentives, you must be enrolled in the Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).  It is possible for you to be actively billing Medicare and not be enrolled in the PECOS system. If you have not enrolled, visit the PECOS website to create an account.  Questions? View PECOS contact information.  

There are several ways you can verify enrollment in PECOS.  

  1. Use the TMA PECOS Lookup Tool based on the CMS data file that is updated weekly.
  2. Use the online PECOS system to look for your enrollment record.  If no record is displayed, you do not have an enrollment record in PECOS.  
    If you have trouble accessing your information, contact PECOS directly.  
  3. Contact Texas' Medicare contractor Novitas at 855-252-8782. 

Step 4: Register at the  CMS Registration and Attestation website 

 Log in to the site using your National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) web user account.  If you do not already have an NPPES account, visit the NPPES website to register. (Note: If you have an NPI number, you automatically have an NPPES account.)  If you do not have your password, call (866) 484-8049 and select option #6 to have your password reset or e-mail

 CMS has a Registration User’s Guide (PDF) for the registration and attestation system.  

 Before you can proceed with the attestation process, you will be prompted for a certification ID. This number is a unique identifier assigned to each certified EHR (see step 5).  

Step 5: Visit the  Certified Health IT Product List  (CHPL) to obtain your unique CMS EHR Certification ID 

Choose your EHR, add to cart and press “Get CMS EHR Certification ID.” For more detailed instructions, click here and view the instructions under the "Using the CHPL Website" heading.  

Step 6: Complete reporting and attestation

Once you have successfully completed 90 days of meaningful use, log back on to the CMS Registration and Attestation website to enter attestation data. View the Attestation User Guide for details on how to attest. If you have not successfully met each required measure, you will be required to resubmit.   

Step 7: Incentive Payment  

Regardless of which year of the program you are in, you must reach 75 percent of Medicare allowable part B charges to be eligible for the maximum incentive (75 percent of total allowable charges). See the following charts for incentive payments by year and payment maximums based on allowable charges.   

Medicare Incentive Payment Chart

75 percent allowable charges - Medicare EHR Incentive Program

Once you’ve completed the above steps and reached 75 percent of Medicare allowable part B charges, you can expect to receive payment from CMS within approximately 6 weeks. If you do not reach the required percentage over the course of the year, CMS will pay 75 percent of total part B charges for the calendar year. 

Need on-site technical consulting help to get you to meaningful use? You don’t have to go on this journey alone. The Texas Regional Extension Centers (REC) can offer assistance if you are looking to select and implement an EHR in your practice, or if you are an existing EHR user looking to optimize your workflow and reach meaningful use.  

Call CMS at (888) 734-6433 to find out registration status, attestation status, payment info and progress towards meeting the threshold for Medicare Part B.

 For more information on the EHR Incentive program contact the Texas Medical Association’s Department of Health Information Technology at (800) 880-5720 or

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