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For highest EHR incentive bonuses, submit all 2012 claims by Feb. 28

January 23, 2013

Eligible health care professionals (EPs) participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program can still receive incentive payments for calendar year 2012 if they file an attestation by Feb. 28, 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The AOA recommends members submit all claims for 2012 services before the end of February to get the highest possible bonus payment.

The reporting year ended Dec. 31, 2012, for EPs who participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program during 2012.

That means EPs must have completed their 90-day Medicare EHR Incentive Program reporting period by the end of 2012 in order to qualify for payments.

However, EPs have until Feb. 28, 2013, to actually register and attest to meeting meaningful use to receive an incentive payment for calendar year 2012 through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System (https://ehrincentives.cms.gov/hitech/login.action).

The CMS officially posted notice of the deadline on the EHR attestation and registration website in December.

Feb. 28 is also the submission deadline for calendar year 2012 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 a percentage of the Part B allowed charges for covered professional services furnished by the EP during the entire payment year, up to specified maximums.

The CMS allows 60 days after the end of 2012 – or until the last day of February – for all pending claims to be processed.

Medicare EHR incentive payments for 2012 are expected to be issued no later than April 2013.

The CMS will pay the Medicare EHR incentive as soon as successful participants reach the dollar amount of Medicare claims that ensures the maximum bonus payment.

If a practitioner has registered and attested but has not been paid, the CMS may be waiting to see if the practitioner will submit more claims for 2012 services, which can increase the practitioner’s bonus payment.

Once the CMS has processed claims submitted by the end of February, any remaining bonus payments to be made should be issued by April.

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

Practitioners should contact their state Medicaid agencies for more details about payment.

Thanks to AOA and affiliate advocacy efforts, eight states now allow optometrists to participate in Medicaid EHR incentive programs (for participation, see http://bit.ly/SwmEhB).

For additional information on the Medicare EHR Incentive program, visit www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms or www.aoa.org/EHR.

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