New federal rules explain the next criteria that doctors and hospitals have to meet to qualify for additional incentive payments for moving to electronic health record systems.
On Aug. 23, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Stage 2 final rule for “meaningful use” of these systems. The rule outlines the criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet to receive Stage 2 incentive payments. All told, there will be three stages of “meaningful use” over the six-year life of the program, and providers have to meet the criteria for each stage to continue to receive incentive payments.
The Texas Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program provides incentive payments to health care providers when they adopt, implement or upgrade certified electronic health record technology.
The incentive payments are designed to encourage Texas medical and dental professionals and hospitals to make the transition to electronic health records and help build what eventually will be a statewide health information network where patient records can be shared between offices with the click of a mouse.
Eligible professionals and hospitals can qualify for the incentive payments by adopting electronic health record technology that meets federal standards, then using that technology in ways that improve quality, safety and effectiveness of patient care. Individual professionals can receive up to $63,750 over a six-year period through the Medicaid incentive program, and hospitals can qualify for millions of dollars in payments over three years based on a funding formula.
Providers that have met the criteria for Stage 1 meaningful use can move to Stage 2. CMS is expected to provide additional specificity and timelines for Stage 2 in the coming months.
For answers to questions on this and other aspects of the Texas Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, email HealthIT@tmhp.com. To learn how to enroll and participate in the program, visit the Texas Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program website.