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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on March 29th, 2013

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What are EHR Incentive Payments and Why You Should Care?

Electronic Health Records

EHR Meaningful use IncentivesAs part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) received a mandate to establish an incentive program for healthcare professionals and hospitals for the adopting, implementing, and demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). The reason for this program is to leverage the efficiency that health information technology brings to the coordination of medical treatment in order to reduce both costs and medical errors. The purpose of the incentive payments is to defray the costs of implementing EHR.

The Benefits of Participating in the EHR Incentive Program

The primary benefit of the EHR incentive program is the payment providers receive when they demonstrate meaningful use of healthcare technology. Meaningful use refers to the benchmarks established by CMS for providers that show the use of EHR to collect, organize, and share health information. Medicare provides can earn up to $44,000 in incentive payments during a five-year period and Medicare providers can earn as much as $ 63,750. Most providers find that these payments significantly offset the cost of the EHR software.

Some of the other benefits of participating in the EHR incentive program include the following:

  • The meaningful use benchmarks provide a guide as to how to get as much from your EHR system as possible.
  • By purchasing the approved EHR software, you can be assured that your EHR software meets the industry standard for high quality health information technology.
  • By demonstrating meaningful use by participating in the EHR incentive program, Medicare providers can avoid the reduction in reimbursement rates that will begin in 2015. 

Healthcare providers that have started using EHR have found that the reduction in administrative costs and the increased revenue due to improvements in productivity have providing a positive return on their investment.

Key Takeaways

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers incentive payments to providers that adopt, implement, and demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records.
  • Many providers find that the EHR incentive payments offset the cost of EHR software.
  • Medicare providers can avoid the reduction in reimbursement rates that start in 2015 by participating in the EHR incentive program. 

References:
http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/EHRIncentProgtimeline508V1.pdf

http://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/faqs/ehr-incentive-payment-schedule

 

 

 

About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.