What is Medicaid’s EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use)?
Beginning in 2011, the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program was developed to encourage eligible professionals to adopt, implement, upgrade (AIU), and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology to help improve patient care. The Medicaid Meaningful Use program is administered voluntarily by the states, who determine program milestones such as attestation timelines and reporting periods.
Meaningful Use Criteria
To receive an EHR incentive payment under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, providers must successfully meet certain meaningful use objectives that CMS has established. During program participation, eligible professionals (EPs) must show that they are using their EHRs in a meaningful way by meeting set thresholds for those objectives.
Please be aware that under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, Program Year 2016 was the last year that EPs could enroll for participation in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. As such, enrollment is no longer open for new participants.
For more information, please contact your state Medicaid agency directly.
Meaningful Use Stages
These stages have been established by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to encourage providers to expand upon their EHR usage to further improve care in the US healthcare system.
Stage 1: Basic EHR adoption to capture clinical data electronically.
Stage 2: Promotion of sharing health information between providers and greater patient engagement with their personal electronic records.
Stage 3: Expanding and solidifying Meaningful Use objectives to improve health outcomes. This stage will become mandatory for all EPs in the 2018 reporting year.
Updates to Meaningful Use in 2015
After ongoing feedback from medical providers, professional medical associations, and Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released changes to the Meaningful Use program on October 16, 2015. The intended aim of this Final Rule was to reduce the complexity of the EHR Incentive Program and address the many challenges that prevented providers from meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements.
Starting in 2015, CMS removed Stage 1 from the program in order to simplify the requirements by placing everyone into the same Stage. However, any providers who were previously in Stage 1 for 2015 were placed in Modified Stage 2 which only required them to meet Stage 1 requirements.
Updates to Meaningful Use in 2017
Per CMS, all providers who have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use in a prior year and are seeking to demonstrate meaningful use for the first time in 2017 to avoid the 2018 payment adjustment must attest to Modified Stage 2 objectives and measures.
The Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was enacted and replaces the previous Medicare reimbursement schedule with a new pay-for-performance program focused on quality and accountability in patient care. Starting January 1, 2017, eligible Medicare Part B clinicians have entered a new payment framework called the Quality Payment Program, replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate formula. The Quality Payment Program has two paths for participation:
For more information on how eligible clinicians can participate in the Quality Payment Program through these paths in 2017, please click the links above.
For more information about the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, you can visit Practice Fusion’s Meaningful Use Center.