CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that registration will begin January 3, 2011, for eligible providers hoping to participate in the Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, according to a December 22 CMS press release.
Several states will also be starting registration for the Medicaid incentive program on that date, including Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Several other states (California, Missouri, and North Dakota) will begin registration in February, according to CMS. Others are likely to begin in the spring or summer of 2011.
“With the start of registration, these landmark programs get underway,” Donald Berwick, MD, CMS administrator said in the press release.
Providers should familiarize themselves with program requirements to prepare for registration via the CMS website. The website has information and FAQs on program payment, eligibility, meaningful use, and certified technology. Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments are available under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) for eligible professionals and hospitals. Providers will be subject to a negative adjustment in their reimbursement if they do not become meaningful users by 2015.