AHRQ to survey 400 Medicaid providers to determine MU barriers
In order to make sure Medicaid providers qualify to receive meaningful use incentives, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has proposed a two-year project aimed at understanding the barriers they face.
The project, which being conducted by AHRQ through its contractor, RTI International, has three goals: 1) to develop technical assistance and support implementation and use of EHRs for Medicaid providers, 2) improve care for the Medicaid population and 3) help with determining criteria for Stage 2 and 3 of meaningful use.
The notice, which was published in the Federal Register, will be available for comments until March 21.
The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program provides incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and CAHs for demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHR technology. EPs can receive up to $63,750 over the six years that they choose to participate in the program.
CMS says to qualify for an incentive payment under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, an EP must have a minimum 30 percent Medicaid patient volume, (20 percent for pediatricians) or practice predominantly in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Center and have a minimum 30 percent patient volume attributable to needy individuals
Eligible participants for AHRQ's project will be determined by a screening questionnaire and will include almost 400 EPs.
According to the notice the project will consist of, "nine focus groups and will include 6-11 EPs per group, containing a mix of pediatricians, other physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives. Focus groups with community health center (CHC) and rural health center (RHC)-based providers will also include physician assistants and administrators."
"Four of the focus groups will include providers in private practice (excluding dentists), an additional four will include providers working in CHCs or RHCs, and the final group will be comprised of private practice dentists. Private practice dentists are being considered separately due to the fact that their practice patterns are likely to vary substantially from those of primary care physicians and non-physician providers."
The estimated annualized cost burden associated with the respondents' time to participate in this research is $15,902, according to the notice. The estimated total and annualized cost to the government for conducting this research is estimated to be $424,493.