Saturday, November 30, 2013, is the last day for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for FY2013 under the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. In the flurry of Thanksgiving activities, holiday travel and Black Friday shopping, don’t forget to take advantage of this deal. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted a reminder of these deadlines on its Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration & Attestation System webpage.
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. Hospitals currently participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program must complete registration and attestation for FY2013 by 11:59 EST on November 30, 2013. Hospitals that are first enrolling in the Medicare EHR incentive program in FY2014 must attest by July 1, 2014.
Hospitals who fail to register and/or attest by these deadlines will face a decrease in their Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) payment rate increase. If a hospital is not a meaningful EHR user by the deadline, it would receive a 25% decrease to the Medicare FY2015 IPPS payment rate beginning on October 1, 2014, a 50% decrease for FY2016, and a 75% decrease for FY2017 and beyond. And these decreases are cumulative! For example, if the increase to IPPS for FY2015 is 2%, then a hospital that is not a meaningful user would only receive a 1.5% increase. For additional information, click here to view the CMS Tipsheet entitled, “Payment Adjustments & Hardship Exceptions Tipsheet for Eligible Hospitals and CAHs”, last updated September 2013.
Hospitals participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program should refer to their state for deadlines.