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EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use)

Earn incentive payments and avoid penalties by participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program: “Meaningful Use."

Stay Informed

CMS has stated that it will broadly accept hardship exemptions because of the delayed publication of the program regulations. Learn how to avoid the 2017 Meaningful Use Penalty. The hardship application deadline has been extended to Friday, July 1, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

2016 Program Requirements

Here's what you need to know about meeting EHR Incentive Programs requirements in 2016.

  • Attest to a single set of objectives and measures. 
  • All providers must attest to objectives and measures using EHR technology certified to the 2014 Edition. All providers may attest to objectives and measures using EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition, or a combination of the two (if the 2015 Edition is available).
  • 2016 Program Requirements
  • EPs: What You Need to Know for 2016
2017 Program Requirements
Clinical quality measures

Beginning in 2014, reporting of CQMs changes for all providers regardless of whether they are participating in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of meaningful use.

View the annual update of the electronic clinical quality measures.

Public Health Reporting

The AAN's Axon Registry is currently in a pilot phase with plans to be made available to all members by first quarter 2017. AAN members should check with their local and state medical associations to determine if there is another specialized registry that may meet their needs before claiming exclusion to Measure 3 of Objective 10: Public Health Reporting.

If claiming exclusion, download a letter confirming the AAN does not have a registry.

AXON REGISTRY AND MEANINGFUL USE

The Axon Registry is a quality improvement registry and as such is a specialized registry.  When a practice is integrated in the Axon Registry the providers of the practice will meet Measure 3 of Objective 10: Public Health Reporting requirement of Meaningful Use. 

Visit the Axon Registry page for more information or to submit your name for participation.

Attestation

Contact the EHR Information Center at 1-888-734-6433 (open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. CT) if you need assistance with any registration and attestation system inquiries.

Hardship Exceptions

CMS has stated that it will broadly accept hardship exemptions because of the delayed publication of the program regulations. Learn how to avoid the 2017 Meaningful Use penalty. Hardship applications must be received by CMS by 11:59 ET on July 1, 2016.

Eligible professionals can apply for hardship exceptions in the following categories:

  • Infrastructure: Must demonstrate that you are in an area without sufficient internet access or face insurmountable barriers to obtaining infrastructure (e.g. lack of broadband)
  • New Eligible Professionals: Newly practicing EPs can apply for a 2-year limited exception to payment adjustments. For example, a newly practicing neurologist who begins in CY 2015 would receive an exception to penalties in 2015 and 2016, but would need to begin demonstrating MU in CY 2016 to avoid a penalty in 2017.
  • Unforeseen Circumstances: Examples include natural disaster or other unforeseeable barrier.
  • Lack of Patient Interaction:
    • Lack of face-to-face or telemedicine interaction with patients
    • Lack of follow-up need with patients
  • Multiple Locations: Lack of control over the availability of certified EHR technology for more than 50% of patient encounters.
  • NEW! 2014 EHR Vendor Issues: The EP's EHR vendor was unable to obtain 2014 certification or the eligible professional was unable to implement MU due to 2014 EHR certification delays.

Access the CMS Payment Adjustments & Hardship Exceptions website for more information and to access the EP Hardship Exception Application.

Earning incentive payments
  1. Make sure you are eligible.
  2. Register.
  3. Use certified EHR technology.
  4. Demonstrate meaningful use for 90 consecutive days in the first year.
  5. Attest that you have used certified EHR technology.

Medicare and Medicaid Payment Schedule

Medicare patient volume

When attesting for Meaningful Use, consider patients from all payers to be counted in both the numerator and denominator.

The maximum incentive payment, based on 75 percent of allowed charges, comes after accumulating $24,000 in Medicare charges.

There is a minimum number of patient volume for Medicaid, but not Medicare:

  • A minimum 30 percent Medicaid patient volume
  • A minimum 20 percent Medicaid patient volume, and is a pediatrician
Clinical decision support

Some examples of clinical decision support rules specific to neurology are:

  • Checking if patients with ischemic stroke are being treated with aspirin
  • Checking if a patient with atrial fibrillation and a stroke is receiving warfarin for anticoagulation
Program Audits

Eligible providers, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals attesting in either the Medicare or Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program may be subject to an audit.

States will be performing audits on Medicaid providers participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Available resources include:

Resources

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