ODs earn $5 million more in EHR incentives in March

June 12, 2012

Optometrists earned another $5,292,000 in Medicare electronic health records incentives during March, according to the latest monthly program report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

To date, optometrists have earned at total of $26,820,000 in incentive payments through the program, according to the CMS report.

“Based on the number of optometrists who have registered for the program, the number of ODs receiving incentives should continue to increase,” the AOA Advocacy Group noted in a recent e-bulletin.

In all, optometrists may have earned more than $40 million in Medicare EHR incentive program payments and related Health Profession Shortage Area bonuses during the first year of the program, according to the AOA Advocacy Group.

Some 6,651 practicing optometrists – about one out of every five – have registered for the EHR incentive program, according to the CMS.

More than a third of them – 2,622 – attested compliance with the program’s EHR utilization standards, and thereby applied for incentive payments for 2011, the first year of the program.

About a quarter of those – 1,490 – had received incentives through the program as of March 31, according to the CMS.
The CMS intended to issue all 2011 EHR incentive payments by the end of May.

Florida, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas have the most optometrists participating in the Medicare EHR incentive program, with all of those states having more than 100 optometrists attesting compliance with the program’s EHR utilizations standards, according to a separate CMS report.

“It’s interesting to note that optometry is way ahead of ophthalmology in EHR program participation, particularly in the less densely populated states,” said AOA Federal Relations Committee Chair Roger Jordan, O.D. “That illustrates how optometrists are often the only available providers of eye care outside of the large urban areas, as well as how important optometrists will be in extending the planned Nationwide Health Information Network and making highly coordinated EHR-based care available across the nation.”

According to the CMS, 1,250 ophthalmologists attested compliance with utilization standards and applied for bonus payments during the first year of Medicare EHR incentive program.

Officemate, Compulink, Epic, and Revolution are the most commonly used EHR systems among optometrists, according to the CMS.

For additional information on the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, see the AOA website EHR page (www.aoa.org/ehr).

The latest CMS reports on EHR program participation can be accessed at (http://tinyurl.com/MedicareMarch2012EHR).

EHR Incentive Program

Optometrist and Ophthalmologist-Specific Data
January 2011 to February 2012
All incentives were related to the Medicare EHR program.

Successful Attestations by State
Optometrists and Ophthalmologists

State            Optometrists            Ophthalmologists
Alabama                   61                                             40
Alaska                        4                                               0
Arizona                     50                                             24
Arkansas                  23                                              8
California                76                                             68
Colorado                 34                                              11
Connecticut           17                                             18
Delaware                  7                                                 2
Florida                    163                                              64
Georgia                    54                                                29
Hawaii                       5                                                 8
Idaho                        11                                                1
Illinois                    93                                               111
Indiana                   71                                                5
Iowa                        59                                               25
Kansas                    77                                                 4
Kentucky               38                                                20
Louisiana               8                                                    14
Maine                      34                                                   5
Maryland               23                                                  25
Massachusetts     85                                                 75
Michigan                101                                               16
Minnesota               85                                                41
Mississippi              29                                                 8
Missouri                  121                                              16
Montana                   14                                                2
Nebraska                   32                                                7
Nevada                       15                                              13
New Hampshire      16                                              15
New Jersey               56                                              44
New Mexico             12                                                0
New York                  76                                               96
North Carolina         191                                             27
North Dakota            21                                                2
Ohio                            114                                               37
Oklahoma                  50                                                9
Oregon                        50                                              65
Pennsylvania          124                                             67
Puerto Rico                0                                                 7
Rhode Island              12                                              0
South Carolina          39                                                23
South Dakota            17                                                 3
Tennessee                  50                                                 21
Texas                            173                                              63
Utah                                20                                                 20
Vermont                       13                                                   3
Virginia                           70                                               11
Washington                   34                                                16
West Virginia                13                                                 6
Wisconsin                       62                                                55
Wyoming                       19                                                    0
Total                             2,622                                           1,250

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