Medicare issues $75M in first Meaningful Use payments

In its first round of payments that began on May 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) got off to a slow start by issuing $75 million in Medicare electronic health record incentive payments to just 320 eligible provider organizations. These were entities that signed up in the first two weeks of the program and were able to attest (starting April 18) their compliance with the Meaningful Use requirements.

Just over 42,600 eligible professionals and hospitals have registered for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs since the beginning of the year through April 30, CMS announced last week. About 485,000 are potentially eligible to participate in the EHR incentive program, which was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

This year, from Jan. 3 through April 29, more than $83.3 million has been disbursed by state Medicaid EHR incentive programs in seven states to eligible professionals and hospitals that met the federal and state program requirements. With both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs, a total of $158.3 million has been awarded in 2011.

Eleven states began participating in the Medicaid EHR incentive program in January: Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. At the beginning of April, Alabama and Missouri launched their incentive programs, while Indiana and Ohio began participating in May. The remaining states are expected to launch their Medicaid EHR incentive programs throughout 2011.

Under the Medicare EHR incentive program, eligible providers can receive as much as $44,000 over a consecutive five-year period. Under the Medicaid EHR incentive program, eligible professionals can receive as much as $63,750 over six years. Incentive payments for eligible hospitals are based on a number of factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment.

The last day for eligible hospitals to register and attest to receive an EHR incentive payment for 2011 is Nov. 30. The last day for eligible providers to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for 2012 is Feb. 29.

For more information:
- see the CMS announcement
- view the list of providers receiving Medicare incentive payments (.pdf)

Related Content:
Medicare EHR incentive attestation starts April 18
Initial registration activities reveal strong interest in Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs