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Do You Qualify for ARRA EHR Incentives?
Healthier Practices. Healthier Patients. That's Meaningful.
Real pediatric meaningful use isn't just a checklist of software features. The most meaningful outcome is healthier patients. When you choose PCC, you get smarter pediatric-specific software and expert pediatric-focused support and advice. We help you improve the health of your practice and your patients.
Working with a company focused on pediatrics is important because qualifying for ARRA EHR Medicaid incentives may mean that pediatricians are subject to additional criteria from the states. Companies that sell generic systems for all types of medical offices are not likely to put priority on meeting these special requirements.
PCC recommends choosing the EHR that you like the best and implementing it within a time frame that makes sense for your practice. The bottom line, from our perspective, is no amount of government funding will make up for choosing the wrong EHR.
Who is eligible to receive EHR Medicaid incentive funds?
Professionals who are eligible for Medicaid incentives include non-hospital based pediatricians with at least a 20% Medicaid patient volume (or, in the case of eligible professionals practicing predominately at Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers, the patient volume threshold is 30 percent). Read more about Eligibility for EHR incentive funds.
How much money is it?
Pediatricians with a Medicaid patient volume of at least 30% may qualify to receive $21,250 per provider (85% of $25,000 in the first year), and $8,500 per provider (85% of $10,000) for each of 5 subsequent years, up to a total of $63,750 per provider over the six year program. Pediatricians with a patient volume of between 20 and 30% can receive up to $42,500.
Do I Need a Certified Product?
To qualify for Medicaid incentives, you must use Certified EHR Technology. HHS/ONC ARRA Certification is not equivalent to CCHIT Certification. Multiple organizations have been temporarily authorized to offer HHS/ONC ARRA EHR Certification. A permanent certification program is still pending. PCC obtained Complete Ambulatory EHR Certification on October 13, 2011. Read more about what constitutes a certified product.
What about Meaningful Use?
The final thing that Pediatricians must do to receive money for EHR is to prove meaningful use. You can meet some of the Meaningful Use criteria by simply producing reports from your EHR system. If this sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. Certification and Meaningful Use criteria were developed in tandem, but at this stage, it isn't a perfect fit.
As such, you should not assume that a Certified product will be able to provide all of the reports you need to prove Meaningful Use. Some Meaningful Use items are not simply reportable numbers from your EHR. For example, the performance of security and risk analysis is a task you must do that will take some time to complete and will need to be updated regularly. Also, keep in mind that many system vendors charge for the creation of custom configuration and reports so beware of additional vendor fees for Meaningful Use customizations and and special reporting that pediatricians might need to meet state requirements that only apply to physicians participating under the Medicaid program. Read more about Meaningful Use.
Can PCC Customers Apply for ARRA EHR Incentive Money?
CMS officially opened registration for the program on January 3, 2010. Pediatricians who plan to apply under the Medicaid portion of the program cannot receive any incentive money until their state programs begin. Most states are not ready to accept registration at this time, though many expect to be ready by the fall of 2011. Visit the CMS web site to find out when your state expects to be ready to accept registration.
PCC has obtained Complete Ambulatory EHR Certification for PCC EHR V6.0. So, if you're using PCC EHR and your state is accepting applications, you may now apply to receive an incentive in 2011, though there is no hurry. The program is available through 2021 and the full incentive amount can be received with a start date as late as 2016.