Meaningful Use by Oct. 3 or Lose Money

Physicians participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program must start their 90 days of meaningful use by Oct. 3 for 2012 participation. Waiting to begin the program in 2013 means $5,000 less because the maximum amount available drops from $44,000 to $39,000.

Avoid delays and problems by registering now for the EHR incentive program, and then attest once you have completed 90 days of meaningful use. Registration and attestation are two separate actions. Some practices that waited until the last minute reported problems with the registration process last year as the system became overloaded. While physicians have until Feb. 28, 2013, to complete the attestation, TMA recommends you complete the attestation as soon as you can once you have completed the 90-day process. This will ensure everything is completed on time and will speed up your payment. Physicians who began the EHR incentive program in 2011 will report on a full calendar year of meaningful use and should also complete the attestation process early in January to prevent problems and delays.

The Texas regional extension centers (RECs) stand ready to help physicians with any aspect of the EHR incentive program – workflow changes, EHR implementation, registration, or attestation. A federal subsidy has significantly reduced the cost of consulting for primary care physicians. Visit TMA's REC Resource Center. For answers to questions about the EHR incentive program, RECs, and other office technologies, call TMA's HIT Helpline at (800) 880-5720 or email

Action, Oct. 1, 2012