IPA docs get $1M in MU incentives
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will award more than $1 million in meaningful use incentives to 60 independent practice association (IPA) physicians within the Torrance, Calif.-based HealthCare Partners network.
The 60 physicians join more than 110,000 health care providers who have received government incentives to-date. CMS officials say these electronic health record (EHR) Incentive Programs payments have amounted to $5.7 billion since the beginning of 2011.
[See also: CMS pays $5.58B in EHR incentives to date.]
“Not only have state Medicaid programs, public health departments, and many other stakeholders given their support to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, but numerous health professionals and hospitals have recognized the potential of EHRs to provide better patient care, cut down on paperwork, and eliminate duplicate screenings and tests,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a June press release.
Program incentives were established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to reward medical providers who successfully demonstrate meaningful use of an EHR system in ways that improve quality, safety and effectiveness of patient centered care.
Many physicians in the HealthCare Partners (HCP) network have received their incentives after completing attestation for Stage 1 of meaningful use.
HCP officials say the meaningful use implementation team from its PACIS division helped develop tools, road shows and other educational resources to assist providers in becoming meaningful users. These resources, officials add, assisted in building spreadsheets and checklists in order to track the physician’s progress toward each required and optional measure.
“For the last six years, HealthCare Partners and the PACIS division have been helping IPA physicians and specialists develop a broader connected technology community,” explains Claudia Halasey, manager of PACIS. “Going from paper charts to electronic health records using NextGen Healthcare software is a component of this broader system and our providers appreciate our partnership in this critical journey.”
Providers must demonstrate meaningful use for 90 consecutive days during the first year of participation in the program as long as they begin by 2014. Physicians and eligible providers may earn as much as $44,000 in extra Medicare payments over a five-year period for meaningful use of a certified EHR system. Medicaid providers may choose to participate in a similar program with bonuses as high as $63,750.