CMS updates FAQs about Meaningful Use program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continues to shed light on how the Meaningful Use Incentive Program works, issuing a new frequently asked question, and updates to two more last week, according to Health Data Management.

The new FAQ addresses the fact that states must fund 10 percent of the non-federal share of HITECH administrative expenses. In its answer, CMS clarified that states have several funding options: they can fund through legislative appropriations to their Medicaid agency, intergovernmental transfer, certified, public expenditures, permissible healthcare-related taxes and donations. States must submit their proposed strategies to CMS for review and approval.

The two updated answers to FAQs both involve eligible professionals. CMS clarified that the medical specialty codes for the specialty-based determination for granting of the hardship exception are diagnostic radiology (30), nuclear medicine (36) interventional radiology (94), anesthesiology (05) and pathology (22). 

CMS also clarified how the incentive payments are determined for eligible professionals in a health professional shortage area (HPSA), providing how much an EP must work in an HPSA to qualify and providing examples of how the incentive payment would be calculated.

The agency has taken a transparent approach to the Meaningful Use program. Many meetings, such as those held by the HIT Policy and Standards Committees, are open to the public. Proposed recommendations for Stage 3 of the program were floated for public comment before the actual proposed rule has been published. That proposed rule will also be open to public comment.  

To learn more:
- here are the FAQs
- read the Health Data Management article