Directly From CMS, here is an overview of the Stimulus Plan’s initiative for improving patient care by offering incentives to convert paper charts to electronic medical records.
The nation’s healthcare system is undergoing a transformation in an effort to improve quality, safety and efficiency of care, from the upgrade to ICD-10 to information exchanges of EHR technology. To help facilitate this vision, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the “HITECH Act” established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The programs begin in 2011. These incentive programs are designed to support providers in this period of Health IT transition and instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to help our nation to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient health care.
NOTE: This is a new program, and it is separate from other active CMS incentive programs, such as Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update (RHQDAPU) and e-Prescribing.
Establishing the New Program
CMS is establishing the EHR Incentive program through formal rule making. A proposed rule on the EHR incentive programs (and the definition of meaningful use) was published, and CMS accepted public comments for 60 days, which ended on March 15, 2010. More than 2,000 comments were received. CMS released the final rule on July 13, 2010. This rule provides many of the parameters and requirements for the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. A copy of the final rule and related documents is accessible below.
CMS’ Role in Other HITECH Areas
CMS also worked with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in developing standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology. More information on certification can be found in the tab on the left.
Patient privacy and security is an important consideration in implementing the EHR incentive programs. CMS is also working with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and ONC to address the privacy and security protections under HITECH Act. More information on privacy and security related to the Health IT is available by clicking “Health IT/Privacy and Security” and “HHS Office for Civil Rights” in the Related Links Outside CMS section below.
|Fact Sheet: Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Title IV of Recovery Act (June 16, 2009)|
Make sure to read key points from bill in our recent post and download the meaningful use chart: http://freeemrsolution.com/emr-ehr-stimulus-plan/finally-meaningful-use-certification-rules-for-stimulus-plan/
Also, you want to check out all of our articles on the Stimulus Plan Here to make sure that your practice qualifies for the funds.