Health IT Pulse

Jul 12 2011   12:18PM GMT

Four on the 4th: States begin EHR incentive programs

cbyertechtarget Profile: cbyertechtarget

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
electronic health records
Medicaid EHR incentive programs

While America was celebrating its birthday, eligible professionals and eligible hospitals in Arizona, Connecticut, Rhode Island and West Virginia had an extra reason to celebrate given the launch of the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program in their respective states.

At the state level, eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals are now able to complete registration and, therefore, can receive monetary incentives.

These states join some 14 states have already sent incentive payments to EPs and eligible hospitals who’ve demonstrated meaningful use.  The addition of these four states brings the total to 21 in active Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Eligible providers in Arizona include: physicians, certified nurses and midwifes, dentists and physician assistants who practice in federally qualified health center (FQHC) or rural health clinic (RHC) that is led by the physician assistant. Arizona’s Medicaid Agency supplies a process diagram, an incentive reference guide and also an eligibility worksheet. There is also a section designed for eligible hospitals.

The Connecticut Department of Social Services helps lay out what is needed to adopt, implement or upgrade an EHR system. Besides showing providers where to go to obtain a certification ID, the website elaborates by providing examples, such as adding clinical decision support, e-prescribing and computerized physician order entry (CPOE), which are all meaningful use staples.

Rhode Island shares similarities to Connecticut in terms of EPs. In order to qualify for incentives, an EP must fit one of following criteria: have a minimum 30% Medicaid patient volume; have a minimum 20% Medicaid patient volume but also be a pediatrician and, lastly, practice primarily in a FQHC or rural health with a minimum 30% Medicaid patient volume. There are resources available to help with integration, too.

EPs in West Virginia may consider registration for the Provider Incentive Payment (PIP) program via the National Level Repository (NLR). It’s important to note that EPs must choose between Medicare and Medicaid, while eligible hospitals can receive incentive payments from either.

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