Just this week, the first checks for adopting EHR technology were cut via the Medicaid portion of the CMS EHR Incentive Program (here is a useful list of Medicaid EHR incentive programs and their status by state). Now, there is no going back for the government. They are fully committed to funding Meaningful Use (MU) incentives for all providers and for both the Medicare and Medicaid MU incentive programs. The doubt that many medical providers had with regard to whether the government would actually follow through on Meaningful Use should now be alleviated.
Many providers confuse the source of funding of the MU EHR program. The source of funding for MU provider incentives is NOT the healthcare reform bill that was passed in 2010, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”). The funding for MU provider incentives is derived from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka ARRA or the “Stimulus Package” — and the EHR incentives themselves come from the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act portion of ARRA). While there are some Tea Party advocates that would like Congress to repeal both bills, there is very little momentum for repeal of the ARRA/HITECH stimulus package of 2009. The interesting fact about Electronic Health Records is that most Republicans support the use of EHR technology. There is very little concern with regard to changing the MU incentive program from either side of the aisle. In fact, for Medicare providers that start this year, $30,000 dollars of the $44,000 dollars available will be earned prior to the conclusion of President Obama’s first term.
The bottom line: there are plenty of government payment issues to be cynical about, but MU EHR incentive payment is not one of them. It is time to step up and claim your MU payment, sooner rather than later. If you are not a MediTouch EHR® user, the easiest way to get started is to contact us, and we will promptly get you scheduled for a demo. If you are a current MediTouch® user, watch our webinar (contact HealthFusion’s Implementation Team for the link) on how easy it is to get MU incentive payments using MediTouch EHR.