January 15, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Electronic Health Records Health Information Technology
December 2012 saw the largest national monthly payout of electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use incentives in the program’s history, this according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Bonuses totaling $1.2 billion were paid to eligible hospitals and physicians, bringing estimated payout to $10.3 billion for the year. Of this total, physicians' incentive payments for Medicare were $175 million and for Medicaid $80 million. In addition, some 2,000 eligible professionals filed claims for EHR incentive payments on January 2, 2013.
Meaningful use is the set of criteria on which physicians must report in order to receive federal incentive payments for EHR adoption. Under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, physicians can receive incentive payments as high as $44,000; under the Medicaid program, physicians can receive up to $63,750. Meaningful use is also the necessary foundation for all impending payment changes involving patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, bundled payments and value-based purchasing.
For more information on the meaningful use bonuses, see CMA’s fact sheet, "Federal EHR Incentive Programs: Stage 2 of Meaningful Use and Changes to Stage 1," available free to members in CMA’s online resource library.