Medicaid incentives the way to go

Jim Tate, Meaningful Use Expert

Medicaid EHR Incentives Program of Choice

And the God smiled on those below…

We all know that Eligible Professionals have the option of participating in either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Since an EP can only participate in one of the programs there is no doubt that if they are eligible for both programs, Medicaid is always the option of choice.

I’m surprised that Medicaid EPs (defined as having 30 % Medicaid volume, 20 % for pediatricians) are not jumping into this incentive program with both feet. The regulations on this program reminds me of the ‘zero entry’ swimming pools at Disney World.  Very easy to get into with all most no barriers.

Medicaid EPs can receive maximum incentives by starting as late as 2016. That’s right. As long as they meet the first year requirements no later than 2016 the can receive incentives through 2021 and obtain the full amount  of $63,750 per EP. In addition, the Medicaid EP will face no reimbursement penalties if they don’t become ‘meaningful users of certified EHR technology’.

OK, here is the most astounding benefit of the Medicaid program vs. the Medicare program: to apply and receive the first year incentive of $21,500 they don’t even have to be using an EHR! The first year requirement is that a Medicaid EP must at least ‘adopt, implement or upgrade’ to certified EHR technology. EHR Adoption is defined as ‘acquire, purchase or secure access to certified EHR technology (signed contract counts)’. So there you have it. For Medicaid EPs as soon as they have signed a contract for complete certified EHR technology they are eligible to apply and attest to their state Medicaid agency for $21,500.

Jim Tate is a nationally recognized expert on the CMS EHR Incentive Program, certified technology and meaningful use and author of The Incentive Roadmap® The Meaningful Use of Certified Technology: Stage 1.

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