First Medicare EHR Incentive Payments Total $75 Million

More than 300 healthcare providers received $75 million in the first payments made under the Medicare EHR incentive program, according to numbers released May 26 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The payments were made May 19 to 320 individuals and hospitals that registered in the first two weeks of the program.

Eligible providers began reporting their performance on April 18, the day CMS opened the online attestation program. In the first stage of the meaningful use program, participants must attest to meeting the requirements for a continuous 90-day period. CMS expects providers will attest throughout 2011 as more complete their reporting periods.

Using the attestation Web site, providers fill in numerators and denominators for the meaningful use objectives and clinical quality measures, indicate if they qualify for exclusions to specific objectives, and legally attest that they have successfully demonstrated meaningful use. CMS reviews the submitted attestations and awards payment for successful completion.

Medicaid Payments Reach $83.3 Million

From January through April Medicaid incentive programs in seven states disbursed $83.3 million to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals, CMS reports.

Fifteen states had launched incentive programs as of May, with 11 of the programs beginning in January. CMS expects most remaining states will launch their incentive programs throughout the year. CMS offers a list of active state programs and expected launch dates on its Web site.

Registration Tops 42,000

More than 42,600 eligible professionals and eligible hospitals had registered for the Medicare and Medicaid programs through April 30, according to CMS. Eligible hospitals and professionals may register for the program at any time, although they adhere to different schedules.

Eligible hospitals must begin their 90-day reporting periods by July 3. The reporting year ends September 30, the last day of the federal fiscal year. Hospitals must register and attest by November 30 to receive an incentive payment for the 2011 fiscal year.

Eligible providers must begin their 90-day reporting periods no later than October 3 for the 2011 calendar year. The reporting year ends December 31, and they have until February 29 to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for 2011.

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