Medicare EHR incentive payments expected this week

By Healthcare IT News
09:11 AM
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The first Medicare electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments will be issued this week, according to an announcement made Wednesday by the ONC. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said providers who have successfully attested to having met meaningful use, and who have met all the other program requirements, can expect to receive their 2011 incentive payments soon.

What Kind of Payment Can I Expect?

According to the notice, eligible professionals (EPs) participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program receive a payment based on 75 percent of their total Medicare allowed charges submitted no later than two months after the end of the 2011 calendar year. The maximum allowed charges used for a 2011 incentive payment is $24,000. This means that the maximum incentive payment an EP can receive for the first participation year is $18,000.

Please note that incentive payments will not be made to an EP until the EP meets the $24,000 threshold in allowed Medicare charges.

Incentive payments to eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals are based on a number of factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment.

How Are Payments Made?

Participants will receive their Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment the same way they receive payments for Medicare services, via electronic funds transfer or by paper check, the notice said. Payments to Medicare providers will be made to the taxpayer identification number (TIN) selected during registration for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. For electronic transfers, CMS will deposit incentive payments in the first bank account on file and it will appear on the bank statement as "EHR Incentive Payment."

The notice clarifies that Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), carriers, and fiscal intermediaries will not be making these payments. CMS is working with a Payment File Development Contractor to make these payments. Please do not contact your MAC regarding EHR incentive payments.