Practitioners can attest 2011 EHR MU compliance until Feb. 29

February 23, 2012

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reminding eligible health care professionals (EPs) who are participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program that they can still receive incentive payments for compliance with program standards during calendar year 2011, if they file an attestation by Feb. 29, 2012.

“On Saturday, December 31, 2011, the reporting year ended for EPs who participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2011. What does this mean? For participating EPs, they must have completed their 90-day reporting period by the end of 2011,” CMS officials noted in a bulletin to health care practitioners last month.

“However, EPs have until Wednesday, February 29, 2012, to actually register and attest to meeting meaningful use to receive an incentive payment for CY2011 through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System (https://ehrincentives.cms.gov/hitech/login.action).

Feb. 29 is also the submission deadline for calendar year 2011 Medicare claims that will be used under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program to determine a program participant’s Medicare total allowed charges for the year – and the participant’s EHR incentive payment, CMS officials noted.

Medicare EHR incentive payments to EPs are based on 75 percent of the Part B allowed charges for covered professional services furnished by the EP during the entire payment year, up to a cap of $24,000. 

The CMS is allowing 60 days after the end of 2011 – or until the last day of February – for all pending claims to be processed.

Health care practitioners could qualify for up to $18,000 in Medicare EHR incentives during 2011, if they reached the total Medicare allowable charges cap of $24,000.

Medicare EHR incentive payments for 2011 are expected to be issued no later than April 2012.

Medicaid EHR incentives will be paid by state Medicaid agencies, and the timing of payments will vary by state, the CMS noted.

Practitioners should contact their state Medicaid agencies for more details about payment, the CMS advised. 

Optometrists can now participate in Medicare EHR incentive programs in Kentucky, Illinois, Alabama, Ohio, and South Carolina.

For additional information on the Medicare EHR Incentive program, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Program Web site (www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms) or the AOA Web site EHR page (www.aoa.org/EHR).

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