Several times a week I am asked the following question: ’What is the absolutely last drop dead date an eligible professional can meet the CMS EHR Incentive Program requirements and not leave any money on the table?’
For Eligible Professionals there are twoCMS programs, Medicare and Medicaid, which incentivize EHR use. An EP must select one of the programs for participation, and is allowed to switch programs once. Let’s take a look at Medicaid first. 2016 is the ’Last year to initiate participation in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program’ and 2021 is the ’Last year to receive Medicaid EHR Incentive Payment.’ From theCMS matrix on page 4 it is clear that a Medicaid EP whose first year in the program is 2016 has the potential to receive receiving the maximum incentive of $63,750. The same as an EP who entered the program in 2011.
For Medicare EPs it is a little more complicated as the incentives are front end loaded. Looking atpage 5 on the CMS matrix we can see that a Medicare EP can get the maximum incentives by beginning participation in either 2011 or 2012. To ease the path for the first year for Medicare EPs CMS states: ’The reporting period for the first year is any 90 continuous days during the calendar year.’ It doesn’t matter what year the Medicare EP begins, they only have to hit 90 days their first year. So to get the maximum Medicare incentive the EP must begin 2011 or 2012 with a 90 day period of the demonstration ofmeaningful use of certified EHR technology.
To bring it all to the bottom line here it is, short and sweet. For Medicaid EP the deadline for maximum incentives is 2016, and they only have to have signed a contract for a certified EHR that first year. For Medicare EPs the deadline is 90 days in 2012 which my calendar shows as October 3rd 2012.