Providers will attest to meaningful use via CMS registration system

If nothing else, it should at least be easy to register to receive federal incentive payments for meaningful use of EMRs.

CMS has awarded a $1.6 million contract to CGI Federal, a Fairfax, Va.-based unit of Montreal-based technology consulting firm CGI Group, to revise the existing Provider Enrollment Chain Ownership System (PECOS) so physicians and hospitals can attest to meeting the requirements for meaningful use that will qualify them for Medicare bonuses. PECOS currently manages and verifies enrollment of Medicare providers and vendors.

Build-out of the online system to accommodate EMR incentive enrollment should take about 10 months, CMS says. Hospitals, however, could be eligible for the bonuses as soon as the end of December, since the rules for meaningful use, as currently proposed, only require providers to meet the standards for 90 consecutive days in 2011. Medicare Part A, which applies to inpatient care, follows the federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

For more information:
- see this Government Health IT story
- read this CMS notice about the contract award