CMS deadline for Medicare EHR attestation is March 13, 2017

The deadline for filing a meaningful use report with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) fast approaches. If providers wish to continue participating in the Medicare EHR (Electronic Health Record) Incentive Program, they must let CMS know by 11:59 pm March 13.

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program pays an incentive to Eligible Providers (EPs) who can attest that they are “meaningfully using” their certified EHRs by meeting thresholds for 10 specific objectives (e.g., using computerized provider order entry, and generating and transmitting permissible prescriptions electronically).

According to CMS, the following individuals are considered EPs who may participate in the EHR Medicare Incentive Program: doctors of medicine or osteopathy, doctors of dental surgery or dental medicine, doctors of podiatry, doctors of optometry, and chiropractors. Hospitals and critical access hospitals may also participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs through 2017 and beyond.

Beginning on a voluntary basis in 2017, and on a required basis in 2018, all providers will attest to Stage 3 objectives and measures, which include demonstrating advanced clinical processes and showing improved outcomes. EPs must achieve defined objectives in order to receive incentive payments.

Beginning in 2015, eligible professionals who did not successfully demonstrate meaningful use were subject to a payment adjustment. The payment reduction starts at 1% and increases each year that an eligible professional does not demonstrate meaningful use, to a maximum of 5%.

The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

CMS offers two EHR incentive programs, one for Medicare and one for Medicaid. EPs can only participate in one of the programs. If an EP chooses to participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, she or he can participate in only one state’s incentive program in any given year.

There are no Medicaid payment reductions for eligible providers who choose not to participate.

EPs in their first year of Medicaid EHR incentive participation will have to demonstrate that they were able to “adopt, implement, or upgrade their certified EHR system,” according to CMS. The second year and thereafter, they will have to attest that they meet the meaningful use requirements and all other eligibility criteria. EPs in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program need to meet the same 10 objectives as those participating in the Medicare counterpart program.

The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program includes physicians (MDs and DOs), nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, dentists, and physician assistants who lead a federally qualified or rural health clinic.

The Medicaid EHR Incentive program deadlines are different for each state. Please check https://www.cms.gov/apps/files/statecontacts.pdf to find state deadlines.