Over $2 billion paid in Meaningful Use Incentive Payments and Counting
In a report submitted to the Health Information Technology Policy Committee on January 10th, CMS highlighted progress in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs ("Meaningful Use") and registration and attestation numbers for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals ("EPs"). For 2011, the two programs paid out over $2.5 billion in Meaningful Use incentive payments to EPs and hospitals who attested to Meaningful Use for 2011.
In 2011, 124,089 EPs registered for Medicare, 39, 503 EPs registered for Medicaid, and 2,834 hospitals registered for both programs. Out of the 842 hospitals that attested to Meaningful Use for FY 2011, 100% were succesful, with 99% of EPs that attested for 2011 also succesful.
CMS has made available additional information on a state-by-state basis which can be viewed on its EHR Data and Reports page. You'll notice also that CMS has "modernized" the look and feel of its webpages, not only for Meaningful Use, but in general for Medicare, Medicaid and other web resources.
Hospitals in their second payment year will generally need to meet Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements for the full 12-month period in FY 2012. Due to concerns about the ability of EHR vendors to certify their products in compliance with Stage 2 requirements, once finalized, HHS has proposed to delay Stage 2 Meaningful Use, which was originally set to begin in 2013 for those who attested in 2011.
Input from the vendor community and the provider community makes clear that the current schedule for compliance with Stage 2 meaningful use objectives in 2013 poses a challenge for those who are attesting to meaningful use in 2011. The current timetable would require EHR vendors to design, develop, and release new functionality, and for providers to upgrade, implement, and begin using the new functionality as early as October 2012.
HHS has indicated that those hospitals and EPs that attested in 2011 would be able to attest to Stage 1 requirements for an additional year, giving them the benefit of attesting to the more lenient Stage 1 requirements again in their third payment year (FY 2013 for hospitals).
The delay is not expected to affect hospitals and EPs who attest to Meaningful Use for their first payment year in 2012. It would also not affect any hospitals or EPs who attested under Medicaid for "Adoption, Implementation and Upgrade" incentive payments for their first payment year in 2011.
CMS is expected to formalize this delay in the proposed rule for Stage 2 which is expected to be released this month or in February. For more information about the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, visit the CMS EHR Meaningful Use webpage.