FAQs about Stimulus Package EHR Reimbursements and ARRA Meaningful Use Requirements for Incentive $:
Will all EHR/EHR systems qualify a practice for HITECH reimbursements?
No. Only those practitioners who use EHR systems that satisfy the standards for “meaningful use” under the HITECH Act will qualify for HITECH reimbursements. Universal EHR’s Physician Solution 5.0 was among the first wave of products to be fully certified as a Complete EHR on October 8, 2010 and our certified EHR system has been deployed at our client sites since before January 1, 2011, the inception date for the program.
Who will determine whether a practice is putting its EHR system to “meaningful use?”
It is up to Secretary of HHS to make the final determination as to whether a practice qualifies as “meaningful use” for reimbursement purposes. For 2011, physicians must merely fill out a self-attestation and provide backup reports demonstrating that they put a certified system such as Physician’s Solution to “meaningful use.” For a guide to registration with CMS, please click here
How can I guarantee that my EHR system will qualify for full Stimulus Package benefits?
There are never any guarantees, but a practical first step would be to choose a software system like Physician’s Solution that has already been certified by CCHIT and has an integrated interface to ePrescribing systems and quality of care – follow-up protocols. UniEHR’s Physician’s Solution® already offers all of the features and functions recommended as the core AND optional criteria for meaningful use by the Health IT Committee. All of UniEHR’s Physician Solution EHR systems meet all criteria for meaningful use, including all of the core and optional criteria, giving our clients the choice of how they wish to put Physician’s Solution to meaningful use.
How much of my practice must utilize an EHR system? What is “meaningful use”?
Although the final “Meaningful Use” standards are still being determined, certain criteria were adopted for Stage 1 of Meaningful Use. To summarize, for physicians to receive their ARRA incentives, they must be able to demonstrate “meaningful use” of health information technology, which currently includes as the following:
- The EHR is being used to e-prescribe at least 50% of a practice’s patients
- The EHR is connected to a national database to provide electronic exchange of health information to improve quality and promote care coordination
- The EHR is able to report on clinical quality measures as specified by the Secretary of HHS. For a guide to Meaningful Use criteria, please click here
How is the $40 billion in Stimulus Funds to be allocated to physicians?
Physicians will be eligible for their share of the $40 billion up to the following amount – per physician — as soon as they can demonstrate “meaningful use”, as follows:
|Year user files||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||Total|
Will my HITECH Stimulus Fund reimbursement payments cover the cost of my EHR System?
Technically, the HITECH Stimulus Fund reimbursement payments are an incentive to compensate meaningful use of an EHR System, not to reimburse the costs of purchasing, installing, deploying and maintaining an EHR system. However, the cost per physician of purchasing, installing, deploying and maintaining a fully-customized Physician’s Solution® EHR software system offered exclusively by UniEHR costs far less than the $44,000 per physician that a physician can qualify for in HITECH Stimulus Fund reimbursements through Medicare. UniEHR is committed to making sure that customers who put a UniEHR system to meaningful use will qualify for HITECH Stimulus Fund reimbursements that far exceed the cost of licensing, installing and maintaining a UniEHR System and offer a written, money back guarantee that Physician’s Solution will continue to meet or exceed all subsequent meaningful use standards promulgated by the government in later stages of the program.
How will the HITECH Stimulus Fund reimbursement payments be calculated?
The reimbursements are currently expected to be paid through Medicare participation. Payments will be calculated by multiplying the submitted allowable charges to Medicare by 75%, up to the capped amount for the year. So a physician aiming to collect the full incentive payment of $18,000 in 2011 will need to submit at least $24,000 in allowable Medicare charges. Conversely, a physician submitting only $16,000 in allowables would collect $12,000 in 2011, even though the cap is higher. For a guide to registration with CMS, please click here
What if my medical practice does not participate in Medicare?
Practices that do not have sufficiently large participation in Medicare, such as many pediatricians; can qualify for even higher amounts of HITECH Stimulus funds – over $60,000 per physician – if the physician participates in Medicaid. There are additional reimbursement programs for all programs who utilize EHR systems that ePrescribe, regardless of Medicare and Medicaid participation.