The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are estimated to have paid more than $10.3 billion to more than 180,200 physicians and hospitals through December 2012. As of December 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had paid EHR incentives to:
- 106,000 Medicare physicians
- 70,000 Medicaid physicians
- 4,200 hospitals
As of November 2012, the number of eligible professionals (EPs) registered for EHR incentives represented:
- 84 percent of hospitals
- 43.9 percent of Medicare physicians
- 19.9 percent of Medicaid professionals
Medicare providers had a strong incentive to begin participation in 2011 or 2012, as EPs initiating participation in those years could receive the maximum of up to $44,000 per EP in EHR payments. Medicare EPs beginning participation in 2013 will not be able to receive the full incentive payments, but are still incentivized to begin participation. Penalties in the form of payment adjustments begin in 2015 for failure to successfully participate in Meaningful Use.
The CMS EHR incentive programs are an entitlement created for EP under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Therefore, there is no set appropriation on incentive payments; any eligible provider who meets the Meaningful Use requirements will receive payment. National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari has said the government estimates to pay out a total of around $20 billion over the course of the program.
If you are not among the 180,200 physicians and hospitals who have received EHR incentives, there is still time to earn Meaningful Use incentives and avoid penalties. To learn more about Meaningful Use, download a free Meaningful Use white paper or access a free recorded webinar.