Eligible professionals participating in the Medicaid EHR incentive program need to prepare for upcoming changes in 2014, according to a recent webinar held by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and reported in HIM-HIPAA Insider.
For instance, currently participating eligible professionals needed to demonstrate that they met the "adopt, implement and upgrade" (AIU) requirements; state Medicaid agencies, which run the Medicaid EHR Meaningful Use programs, determined what constituted proof of AIU, such as a signed purchase order for an EHR. Starting in 2014, according to the HIM-HIPAA article, CMS will require that the eligible professional actually acquire a certified EHR system and attest to adopting or implementing one that can meet Meaningful Use.
Several of the definitions, exclusions and requirements will also differ in 2014, according to CMS. For instance, CMS added an electronic prescribing exclusion for eligible professionals that don't have a pharmacy within their facility and are not within 10 miles of a pharmacy that uses electronic prescribing.
The Medicaid EHR incentive program differs from the Medicare program. For instance, the maximum incentive amount is $63,750, compared to Medicare's $44,000. Payments in the Medicaid program are distributed over a six-year period, and there is no penalty for not demonstrating Meaningful Use. However, Medicaid eligible professionals who also treat Medicare patients will have a payment adjustment to their Medicare reimbursement starting in 2015 if they don't successfully demonstrate Meaningful Use.
Participation in the Medicaid Meaningful Use incentive program continues to grow, with 131,380 Medicaid eligible professionals actively registered as of CMS' June 2013 summary. Of these eligible professionals, 95,461 have received incentive payments from their state Medicaid agencies. Forty-nine states now are open for Medicaid EHR program registration.