TennCare Receives Federal Approval to Move Forward with Provider Incentive Program

NASHVILLE - TennCare officials announced today that Tennessee received federal approval to move forward with the Bureau's Electronic Health Record (EHR) provider incentive program.  Tennessee is the second state in the country to receive approval of its implementation plan combined with a commitment for federal implementation funding. 

Tennessee's EHR provider incentive program will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals and hospitals and will be administered by TennCare.  Those who qualify for the program will receive federally-funded payments to offset the cost of purchasing, implementing and operating a certified EHR system so long as the provider uses it in a way that meets federally defined criteria known as "meaningful use".

The aim of the EHR provider incentive program is to improve quality and efficiency of care by encouraging the adoption of Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange. 

The federal government approved Tennessee's Implementation Advance Planning Document (IAPD), which includes an initial $5.3 million budget - 90 percent federally funded - to offset the cost of system development and to administer the first year of the EHR provider incentive program.  Tennessee also received approval for its State Medicaid Health Information Technology Plan (SMHP), which outlines the state's plan to administer the program.

Funding for Health Information Exchange and Health Information Technology initiatives was established in the HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act), which is part of the American Re-Investment and Recovery Act of 2009.

Eligibility criteria and incentive payment details for TennCare's EHR provider incentive program are available on TennCare's website: http://www.tn.gov/tenncare/hitech.html. Information on "meaningful use" and the certification process, including a link to the list of currently certified products, can be found on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) website: http://www.healthit.hhs.gov.