Frequently Asked Questions

EMR / EHR Frequently Asked Questions

What does the HITECH Act mean for my business and me

The HITECH Act, part of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) passed by President Barack Obama on February 19, 2009 to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. The government is currently offering Eligible Professionals $44,000-$64,000 over a 5 year period for implementing certified EHR/EMR technology. EMR technology aims to improve clinical decision-making. The government has recently defined meaningful use of certified technologies and incentive payments start rolling out as early as 2011. Beginning in 2015, if you do not have a qualified EMR system in place, penalties will be accrued per provider. If you are a provider that accepts Medicaid or Medicare, there is a high likeliness that you qualify for these government incentives.

What types of physicians qualify for EHR Incentive Programs?

The following types of practices can all qualify for $44,000 or more in HITECH stimulus incentives according to the definitions in the Social Security Act, section 1861(r):

  • Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy – M.D. or D.O.
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery or Medicine – D.D.S or D.D.M
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine – D.P.M.
  • Doctor of Optometry – O.D.
  • Chiropractor – D.C. 

What types of medical practitioners are included in HITECH?
In addition to the list above, ARRA references “providers as defined in the
Social Security Act, section 1842” as qualifying for HITECH incentives. This includes:

  • A physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist
  • A certified registered nurse anesthetist
  • A certified nurse-midwife
  • A clinical social worker
  • A clinical psychologist
  • A registered dietitian or nutrition professional 

Are the stimulus incentives per practice or per provider?

The incentives are per provider for each eligible professional.

What is the payment structure for incentive payments?

How do I know if my current EMR is certified? Can I get my EMR system certified?

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs require the use of ONC-ATCB certfied EHR technology, as established by a new set of standards and certification criteria. If you have already implemented EMR software, so as long as it is certified, your provider is eligible for the incentive program.

Can I qualify for EMR incentive payments from both Medicare and Medicaid?

No. You may only receive incentive payment from either Medicare or Medicaid. EMRSOAP works with practices to qualify for the maximum amount of incentives, per physician settings.

How do I qualify?

There are stages of meaningful use that most be adopted overtime including clinical quality measures and reporting. These meaningful use objectives must be met in order to qualify for the government incentives. EMRSOAP consultants work with physicians to ease the process of selecting certified EMR software, meet meaningful use, and qualify for the maximum amount of incentives available.

What is Meaningful Use?

Meaningful use is a measure used by the HHS to qualify the incentive payment program. To meet “Meaningful Use”, there are certification bodies (ONC-ATCB) that test individual EMR systems to assess the quality measures

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 specifies three main components of Meaningful Use:

  1. The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner, such as e-prescribing.
  2. The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care.
  3. The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measures.

If we are currently receiving incentives from the MIPAA e-prescribing program, can we still qualify for the EMR incentive program?

For eligible professionals, under Medicaid, you can qualify for both the eRx incentive program and the Medicaid EHR/EMR incentive. However under Medicare, Eligible professionals may not earn incentives under the eRx and Electronic Health Records incentive programs at the same time.


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