HITECH EHR Incentive Attestation BeginsSystem Available to Verify Medicare Incentive Eligibility
One of the requirements for Stage 1 of the program, which must be verified, is to conduct a risk analysis and take action to mitigate risks identified. Federal authorities are continuing work on additional potential privacy and security requirements for future stages of the program (See: Privacy, Security Proposals Advance).
Those who successfully attest to meeting the requirements can expect to begin receiving Medicare incentive payments within four to eight weeks, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' timeline shows Medicare payments could start to flow in May.
Individual states are operating the Medicaid portion of the incentive program separately and under their own timelines. So far, only 13 states have launched their programs, and some already have begun making payments.
Under the HITECH Act, which was part of the economic stimulus package, as much as $27 billion may be made available for EHR incentives through 2015. For Medicare incentives, physicians can receive up to $44,000, in phases, over five years, while hospitals can earn a $2 million base payment plus additional payments based on a number of factors. Although the program is voluntary, starting in 2015, those hospitals and physicians not meaningfully using certified EHRs will see their Medicare payments begin to decline.
More information is available on the official website of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program.