HITECH Act 2009 and EHR Incentives

OVERVIEW

The HITECH Act is the Health Information Technology (HIT) section, under the recently approved American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under HITECH, the government has allocated $19.2 billion in incentives to adopt EHR technology. The recovery bill allocated $19 billion in grants and incentives for companies and practices to buy health information technology in an effort to improve efficiency and quality in the health system.

ELIGIBILITY

Providers that implement and have a meaningful use of a certified EHR prior to 2015 are eligible for incentives.

Definition of "Meaningful" Use

The HITECH Act defines Meaningful use as those that meet each of the following criteria:

  • Use of a certified product with e-prescribing
  • EHR should Electronically Exchange information
  • Complies with submission of reports on clinical quality measures

EHRs are Eligible for Reimbursement

CCHIT certification currently sets the standard for Ambulatory EHR products and is the accepted industry standard.

(CCHIT®) Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology is a private, nonprofit organization that has been recognized by the federal government as an official certification body for health information technology. The certification requirements are based on widely accepted industry standards and involve the work of hundreds of expert volunteers and input from a variety of stakeholders throughout the health care industry.

Medicare Incentive Payments

Healthcare professionals who meet the "meaningful use" of a "certified" EHR may be eligible for the following incentives per physician:

  • Year 1: $15,000 ($18,000, if 1st year 2011 or 2012)
  • Year 2: $12,000
  • Year 3: $8,000
  • Year 4: $4,000
  • Year 5: $2,000
  • Last payment year will be in 2015
  • Penalties for non-adoption after 2015; 1% up to 5% of professional fees

Penalties for Failure to Adopt EHR's

Penalties for failing to "meaningfully use" HIT will begin in 2015. Penalties for non-adoption after 2015; Increasing 1% every year up to 5% of professional fees.

Payments

The payment may be in the form of a single consolidated payment or in the form of periodic installments.

Current MD-Reports Users Can Qualify

Upgrade and implement MD-Reports Version 9i prior to January 1, 2011 as per CCHIT certification requirements. Your MD-Reports team is fully dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition and seamless upgrade. Please call us at 718.982.1315 and ask to speak to one of our Sales Representatives.

E-prescribing Incentives

The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA)

MIPPA provides positive incentives for practitioners who use electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) in 2009 through 2013. It requires the use of e-prescribing in 2011 and beyond by reducing payments to providers who fail to e-prescribe.

It provides a 2% bonus in 2009 and 2010 for e-prescribing, 1% in 2011 and 2012, 0.5% in 2013.

Penalties of minus 1% in 2012, minus 1.5% in 2013, 2% in 2014 and beyond for physicians who do not e-prescribe. Click on to learn more about this. For successful reporting under the 2010 eRx Incentive Program, a single quality-data code should be reported.

Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI)

The law extended the physician quality reporting initiative (PQRI) through December 31, 2010 and increases the PQRI bonus from 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent for 2009 and 2010. It made improvements to the PQRI, including a requirement for the endorsement of measures by a consensus-based, standard setting entity. It permits group practices to report, using a sampling methodology, on measures targeting high-cost, chronic conditions.

It also allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to post on the CMS website the names of physicians or groups who satisfactorily submitted data on quality measures through PQRI.

In addition, the law requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide confidential feedback to providers regarding their resource use and to submit a plan to Congress regarding transition to a value-based purchasing program for physicians.

Disclaimer: MD-REPORTS does not claim or guarantee the reimbursements of Medicare/Medicaid Incentive payments to physicians/eligible professionals. MD-Reports is a certified and qualified Meaningful Use EHR system and thus gives the physicians eligibility for the reimbursements of incentive payments from Medicare/Medicaid. However, MD-Reports is not responsible in any way for automatically making the EPs eligible for collecting the incentive payments. It is the EPs responsibility for adopting the system and entering the data into EMR system, as per CMS requirements and criteria in order to be eligible for Meaningful Use criteria.