State and Federal Incentive Programs

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives to Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate Meaningful Use of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) specifies three main components of Meaningful Use:

  1. The use of a CEHRT in a meaningful manner, such as e-prescribing.
  2. The use of CEHRT for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care.
  3. The use of CEHRT to submit clinical quality and other measures.

Simply put, Meaningful Use means providers can show they're using CEHRT in ways that can be measured in quality and quantity. To qualify for the financial incentives, Meaningful Use requirements must be met in the following ways:

Medicaid EHR Incentive Program: Eligible Professionals and Eligible Hospitals may qualify for incentive payments if they Adopt, Implement, Upgrade (A/I/U) or demonstrate Meaningful Use in their first year of participation. They must successfully demonstrate Meaningful Use for subsequent participation years. This program continues until Program Year 2021.

Adopted:  Acquired and installed CEHRT. (E.g.: can show evidence of installation)
Implemented: Began using CEHRT.  (E.g.: provide staff training or data entry of patient information into CEHRT)
Upgraded:Expanded existing EHR to meet certification requirements. (E.g.: add functionality that meets CEHRT)

Medicare EHR Incentive Program: Eligible Professionals, Eligible Hospitals must successfully demonstrate Meaningful Use of CEHRT every year they participate in the program. As of Program Year 2017, this program has been replaced with the MACRA MIPS program.