Providers could earn incentives from multiple CMS programs

Written by Mary Mosquera

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has published more answers to frequently answered questions related to the electronic health records incentive program, including the affect of healthcare providers participating in the agency’s other reporting incentive programs.

CMS has multiple incentive programs ongoing for quality reporting, electronic prescribing and now meaningful use of EHRs. Some providers want to know if they can receive incentive payments from more than one program in which they are participating, according to the agency in an announcement March 30.

CMS has responded to 120 questions at its website.

Some providers want to participate in 2011 in the Physician Quality Reporting System, Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program and EHR Incentive Program at the same time and earn incentives for each.

The Physician Quality Reporting System incentive can be received regardless of a provider’s participation in the other programs, CMS said.

Providers who participate in the EHR Incentive Program through the Medicaid option may also receive the eRx incentive.

Meaningful Use Stage I Criteria

If providers chose to be part of the Medicare or Medicare Advantage options for the EHR Incentive Program, they must still report the eRx measure to avoid the penalty but are only eligible to receive one incentive payment. Providers successfully participating in both programs will receive the EHR incentive payment.

Providers should continue to report the eRx measure in 2011 even if their practice is also participating in the Medicare or Medicare Advantage EHR Incentive Program, because claims data for the first six months of 2011 will be analyzed to determine if the 2012 eRx payment adjustment applies.

CMS also explains how providers will attest that they meet meaningful use requirements.

Other new FAQs that CMS added relate to the use of a different system than the certified EHR to generate reports for meaningful use, and the sending of batch files to an immunization registry to meet the objective to submit electronic data to such a registry.

Also, some providers want to know if they can see a patient at one of their locations that does not have a certified EHR but enter the patient’s information at another practice location that does support a certified product. 

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