Medicare incentive payments for EHR use clarified

medicareAs most physicians know by now, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides incentive payments for physicians who treat Medicare patients.

Physicians are not required to treat a minimum number of Medicare patients in order to be eligible for the incentive payments. However, there is a cap on the total EHR incentive available to physicians.

The cap is based on 75% of the allowable Medicare charges for the physician, not to exceed total payments of $44,000 ($48,000 for physicians who practice in a professional shortage area).

So, physicians with lower Medicare volumes may be eligible for a smaller amount.

To clarify, for example, in 2011, the first payment to those physicians who meaningfully using a qualified, certified EHR is $18,000. Therefore, a Medicare provider who charges $24,000 (or more) in Medicare allowable charges is eligible for the $18,000 payment in 2011 (because 75% of $24,000 is $18,000).

Here is the entire flow for all stimulus payments:

Incentive Billings necessary to receive incentive
$18,000 $24,000
$12,000 $16,000
$8,000 $10,666.66
$4,000 $5,333.33
$2,000 $2,666.66

Please contact us with any questions or for more information. We can help you find an EHR solution that provides the tools necessary to help you achieve the requirements of the ARRA.

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