Health Information Management

Know how the economic stimulus plan can help offset your EHR implementation costs

HIM-HIPAA Insider, February 24, 2009

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Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 focuses on healthcare information technology (IT) and quality, with $19 billion in grants and loans set aside for infrastructure and incentive payments under Medicare and Medicaid for providers who adopt certified EHR technology. The grants and loans include $17 billion slated for incentives, with $2 billion allotted to jump-start health IT adoption.

The Act outlines incentive plans for eligible professionals for their ‘meaningful use’ of EHRs. The Act specifies that ‘meaningful use’ requires the following:

  • Use of certified EHR technology
  • Information exchange
  • Reporting on yet-to-be-selected clinical quality measures using EHRs

Incentive payments begin in 2011, and they encourage early adoption. For example, when a hospital implements an EHR in 2011, it will receive 100% of the incentive amount for which the hospital is eligible. However, when the hospital delays implementation until 2012, it will only receive 75%. After 2015, there will be no incentive payment.

Nonhospital-based physicians will receive incentive payments based on a similar—though not exactly the same—payment structure; however, they will also receive payment reductions for failing to adopt by 2015.

Critical access hospitals are eligible for incentive payments; however, they will be subject to a different calculation that is not currently available.

See Title IV on p. 360 of the PDF for more information regarding payment incentives.


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