For a period of time, providers working in correctional facilities weren’t considered to be eligible for the EHR incentive program because their Medicaid patient visits weren’t paid visits. According to Section 1905 of the Social Security Act, Medicaid cannot cover services provided in correctional facilities. However, when a person is incarcerated, their coverage is only suspended. After Meaningful Use Stage 2 was introduced, the terms now state that as long as patients are enrolled in Medicaid, providers can qualify for incentive payments.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the EHR incentive program in 2011 to promote EHR implementation and the use of health IT. There are programs for both Medicare and Medicaid. The Medicaid incentive program offers payments to those providers who demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs and who have a clientele consisting at least 30% of Medicaid patients. With the MU2 changes, providers can include patients at correctional facilities, who are enrolled in Medicaid, into that count.
The payments will be given over a period of 6 years, adding up to $63,750 ($21,250 for the first year and $8,500 each year after that). For the first year, providers can receive incentives for adoption, implementation or upgrading of an EHR. During each subsequent year, they must demonstrate meaningful use. The criteria for meaningful use attestation and further information can be found on the CMS website.
Author: Apoorva Anupindi