Providers who are eligible to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) electronic health record (EHR) incentive program have a one month reprieve to show that their practices are using the technology in a meaningfully useful way. To receive the incentives, community oncologists and other providers must meet a number of objectives that CMS has established.
Eligible providers now have until March 31, 2014—extended from February 28, 2014—to submit their meaningful use data to CMS and receive payment for the 2013 program year. Robert Anthony, deputy director at the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Service reported that as of December 31, 2013, CMS has disbursed more than $19 billion in reimbursement incentives. In addition, CMS says that about 60% of Medicare-eligible providers are meaningful users of EHRs.
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are staged in three steps with increasing requirements for participation. All providers begin participating by meeting the stage 1 requirements for a 90-day period in their first year of meaningful use and a full year in their second year of meaningful use. After meeting the stage 1 requirements, providers will then have to meet stage 2 requirements for two full years. Eligible providers participate in the program on the calendar years, while eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals participate according to the federal fiscal year.
CMS says that the deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and the Physician Quality Reporting System EHR Incentive Program Pilot remain the same and are not affected by the extension.
to access the CMS registration and attestation system. The EHR Information Center can also be reached at 1-888-734-6433 and the center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 6:30 pm CT, except federal holidays.