Registration for the meaningful use incentive program began January 1, 2011 with more then 20,000 doctors registering for the program. This program was implemented as a means to incentivize physicians and hospitals to utilize electronic medical record systems. Certain metrics were established and participants must comply with them for 90 consecutive days in order to qualify for any monetary payments. Starting on April 18th, physicians and hospitals may attest to meeting the required criteria. If they are deemed to have met these criteria, they will be eligible for incentive pay up to $44,000 over the next five years.
Achieving meaningful use is also important for physicians wishing to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings program through an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) since many of the quality performance standards are aligned with the “meaningful use” criteria in the HITECH EHR incentive program. Further, ACOs participating in the Shared Savings Program will be required to demonstrate that 50% of the ACO’s primary care physicians are “meaningful users” as set forth in the HITECH EHR incentive program.
For any further information about participating or complying with the HITECH Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive programs or for assistance with ACO formation or participation, please contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.