Some states now offer ODs Medicaid EHR incentives

August 30, 2012

Optometrists in five states can now participate in Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs – with optometrists in up to a half-dozen more possibly becoming eligible for Medicaid EHR incentives in the near future, according to the AOA Advocacy Group.

Since the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and South Carolina have all amended their Medicaid State Plans to allow optometrists to qualify for EHR incentives.

Under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, health care practitioners who demonstrate that they have billed at least 30 percent of their insurance claims to Medicaid during a 90-day reporting period can qualify for up to $63,750 in incentives over the six-year life of the program. The Medicare EHR Incentive Program, by comparison, offers up to $44,000 ($48,400 in federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas).

The entry of optometrists into state Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs comes as the result of lobbying efforts by the AOA to get the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to clarify incentive program rules, as well as successful efforts by state optometric associations to assist state Medicaid departments in filing necessary state Medicaid plan amendments with the CMS to allow participation by optometrists in their incentive programs.

An article in the May edition of AOA News incorrectly indicated ODs were not yet authorized to participate in Medicaid EHR incentive programs in any states.

For more information, see “Five states now offer Medicaid EHR incentives to ODs” in the April edition of AOA News or contact Brian Reuwer in the AOA Washington office at 800-365-2219, ext.1343 or BReuwer@aoa.org.

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